Clayton Christensen, Inspiration & Innovation, Rest In Peace

Very sad to read that Clayton Christensen died on January 23rd, 2020. His writing on technology innovation seemed more than just business sense also conveying an underlying respect, understanding, and love for humanity. A business ethos driven by that spirit would make for a much improved world. I believe his writing and the ideas that he promoted were guided by a set of values that we can all respect.


The Prosperity Paradox, 2019, was most likely his last book. Co-authored with Efosa Ojomo (who i am guessing was a major source of inspiration for the book) and Karen Dillon. The Prosperity Paradox highlights the need to support innovation in developing regions in a manner that facilitates local solutions to local problems. People know what they need most, they know how local life works, what will work and what will likely not work. Innovation aid must help the Pull model, as opposed to aid and solution being pushed and ultimately wasted. A key aspect of Pull v Push is that Pull innovation has a local origination point. From Africa to China many examples are provided that show how local innovators addressed an unmet local need in a manner that was affordable and 'good enough'. Many other solutions were available but none were within the budget or ability to consume of the local people..


The ideas are well researched and backed up with compelling evidence. The Pull V Push approach strikes the right note in some many areas, from facilitating self reliance to reducing hangovers from colonial attitudes.


I highly recommend the Prosperity Paradox for anyone interested in promoting or understanding innovation in developing regions. Clayton Christensen helped leave the world a little richer for his life's work, may he rest in peace, he will be missed.

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