Competing Against Luck

  • by Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for.
How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer.
A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now he goes further, offering powerful new insights. After years of research, Christensen has come to one critical conclusion: Our long-held maxim - that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation - is wrong. Customers don't buy products or services; they "hire" them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world's most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes - it's about predicting new ones.
Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products not only that customers want to hire, but for which they'll pay premium prices to bring them into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.
This book carefully lays down Christensen's provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world - and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Alt Title: Avoiding Symptoms and Find Root Causes.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to all my friends. It really puts what is most worth, in life and in work, into perspective.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Competing Against Luck?

The concept of competing against non-competition was very memorable because it caused me to realize that people may not fulfill their needs, even if your product could help them.


Which character – as performed by John Pruden – was your favorite?

Clayton Christensen, the only character.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's best listened in multiple sessions. I wanted time to think about what he had taught.


Any additional comments?

Great book! I definitely want to read more books from Clayton Christensen.

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- Boyd Tschaggeny

Clear presentation of a clearly useful theory

From the milkshake to every aspect of business planning, the construct of jobs to be done provokes thought. This is a fresh perspective that brings a new and practical analysis to an age old challenge. Why do customers buy our products? How do we improve and adapt to our customers' needs and preferences?

I love the Demmings quote “If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.” ... The second half of the quote convicts us all to inspect what we do and how we do it.
Remember, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets”. If we want different results better results we have to change the system. And if we cannot describe the process...

The theory is amazingly applicable to everyday life as well. Christensen's example of job of a husband struck home. To be innovators and effective providers of services and products, personal and professional, we are better equipped with the construct of jobs to be done.
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- William

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio