10 Books About Business Disruption

10 Books About Business Disruption

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Have you heard the latest buzzword, Disruption?  It’s the offspring of buzzwords like “Growth Hacking” and “Pivot”.  And, it’s in the spotlight because disruption is a key component of new ways of thinking about things and creating new products and services.

This week’s book list is a collection of marketing books dedicated to the idea of disruption, disruptive innovation and disruptive entrepreneurship.

This list will take you on a journey via some of the most popular and defining books about disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Don’t let the list or the topic scare you, rather use it as your own journey toward pushing your business into a safe harbor for growth.

Before you jump into the disruptive entrepreneurship topic, it’s a really good idea to get your feet wet.  The following books will help you understand the history of disruption.

Books About Business Disruption

10 Books About Business Disruption - Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy

by W. Chan Kim  Renée A. Mauborgne

One of the first books to make a splash in the disruptive marketing space has to be Blue Ocean Strategy.  This has been a bestseller since its initial publication more than 15 years ago and it continues to be the touchstone book when folks talk about the idea of turning industries and markets on their ear — and how to do it.

The idea is straightforward.  As long as you’re comparing yourself to companies in your industry and against the same attributes that define success in a category, you are creating bloody red oceans.  The way to truly succeed is to transform your industry or category be transforming the attributes that define it.  In other words, create clean “blue oceans” where there is no competition.

Even if you’ve read the book before, you’ll want to grab an updated copy because it’s filled with new stories, new companies and new Blue Ocean Strategies.

Instead of just talking about case studies and how companies found and staked their claims to new market space, Blue Ocean Strategy give the tools to do it for yourself.  Their website, blueoceanstrategy.com has dozens of downloadable worksheets to help you find areas in your industry that are ripe for disruption.
10 Books About Business Disruption - The Innovator's Dilemma

The Innovator’s Dilemma

by Clayton Christensen

If you like Blue Ocean Strategy, you’ll want to meet Clay Christiansen.  When you Google “Disruptive Innovation”, disruptive marketing, disruptive entrepreneurship, his books and his name will often come up first.

Check out his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Christiansen says that most companies will miss out on new innovation opportunities regardless of what industry they are in because they do NOT do the two most basic things that we are taught in business school.

Listen to the customer and place your time and money in those areas that have the highest return.

He illustrates this point by focusing on failure.  Christensen takes a look back into historically successful companies that aren’t quite so successful today and then he digs a little deeper to see what happened — or what didn’t happen.

This book is ideal for people who love exploring business history, strategy and learning from it.

10 Books About Business Disruption - Innovation and Its EnemiesInnovation and Its Enemies

by Calestous Juma

Have you been hearing a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence? If not, expect to in 2017.

What makes Innovation and Its Enemies different from other books about the artificial intelligence trend is that it attacks what’s really underneath our reluctance to embrace new technologies; the fear that only a certain small percentage of the population will benefit from this technological advancement.

Juma is unafraid about exposing the extent to which modern technological controversies grow out of distrust in public and private institutions.

You’ll find a number of detailed case studies that include coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals.

Juma shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace.

10 Books About Business Disruption - Reinventing the EggReinventing the Egg

by Roger Cusa

If you’ve been struggling in setting your brand apart from the competition, then Reinventing the Egg is the book for you.

When your customers have access to virtually perfect information and the ability to compare you against your competition and even have conversations with customers with experience with you and your competition, being average is just not an option.

In this book, Cusa shows marketing managers, business owners and entrepreneurs how to create new growth in business through innovation. It is not about incremental ideas or doing something slightly better.

10 Books About Business Disruption - Mapping InnovationMapping Innovation

by Greg Satell

Mapping Innovation by Greg Satell won’t publish until the Spring of 2017, but it’s important enough to have you put it on your radar. Satell wrote this book for business owners and managers who are constantly being called on to “innovate” but given little to know instruction on exactly how to innovate or what to do to get innovative results.

In this book, you’ll get a simple-to-use framework for identifying the optimal innovation strategy that is most likely lead to a successful outcome, Insights into how the world’s top innovators implement their innovation strategies and A step-by-step guide to creating your own innovation playbook to win markets and run circles around your competition!

10 Books About Business Disruption - Disrupt YourselfDisrupt Yourself

by Whitney Johnson  

Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur, there’s no reason why you can’t put the principles of disruption to work in your own life and career.  In Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson you’ll learn how to take the right risks, play to your strengths, embrace the constraints in your life, watch out for the entitlement mindset, learn how to go sideways and take on the stand of always being curious.

The crux of the book lies in understanding the “S-curve” model of how ideas are adopted.  The biggest lesson here is to be patient as ideas often need time to take off. Typically the process is inelegant riddled with failures, but if you understand that this is part of the process, you can easily take on new ideas that lead to innovation.
10 Books About Business Disruption - Disruptive Marketing

Disruptive Marketing

by Geoffrey Colon

The digital revolution hasn’t just changed how marketing messages are delivered, it’s changed how consumers behave.  With 75% of our screen time now dedicated to our devices, we’ve become even more savvy consumers of information. In Disruptive Marketing, Geoffrey Colon throws a wrench into old-style MBA thinking and challenges the reader to open your mind to obstacles, ubplug from your devices and work on the fly.

You already know that command-and-control marketing and message control have gone the way of the buggy whip.  But what’s next? What’s a marketer to do when the consumer is in control?  The real answers aren’t in an MBA classroom.  The answers lie in the digital version of guerilla marketing that is owned by the growth hackers, data punks and hybrid thinkers.

If you’re fascinated by the exponential growth some brands are able to achieve without doing fancy market plans or PowerPoint decks, then this book is for you.  While you may not be a growth hacker at heart, you’ll be exposed to a new way of thinking and implementing successful marketing strategies — no MBA required.

10 Books About Business Disruption - Crossing the ChasmCrossing the Chasm

by Geoffrey A. Moore

Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore wrote the original of this book in 1991. This is the third edition of this classic that has retained the original premise; how to close the gap between early adopters of a new technology and the laggards, while updating examples of successes, failures and approaches in the digital marketing age.

This book is ideal for high-tech marketers and B2B marketers.  Although the principles can absolutely be applied to B2C situations.  In the past, this gap between the early adopters of a product or technology and the mainstream adoption has been ignored.  But today, with so many social media platforms coming and going, this gap has become more visible.

Crossing the Chasm has also moved into the mainstream of business and marketing books as its classic tech marketing principles can be applied to more and more small businesses.

10 Books About Business Disruption - Disruptive SellingDisruptive Selling

by Patrick Maes

If you haven’t noticed, the sales process has been turned on its ear.  Much of the educational component of selling has been outsourced to online content and to referrals and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues. Whether you’re a seasoned salesperson with decades of experience or a newbie,  Disruptive Selling by Patrick Maes is going to be a welcome addition to your bookshelf or digital reader.

The author leads startups, managers, sales and marketing people through a clear process of how to use today’s technology to connect with and convert customers.  Another benefit of this book is that the author, Patrick Maes brings a global perspective to the selling process.  This is invaluable as the world gets flatter and flatter.

10 Books About Business Disruption - A Manager's Guide to Disruptive InnovationA Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation

by Philippe Silberzahn

Many of the books on this list are written for the disruptor.  A Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation by Philippe Silberzahn is actually written for the disrupted.

There are two sides to the disruption coin and this book shows you the good, the bad and the ugly of how industries and their leaders have dealt with disruption.  Silberzahn heavily references and analyzes the work of Clay Christiansen (referenced earlier in this list with “Innovator’s Dilemma”) and then digs even deeper into the topic.  If you are an established company that holds a significant amount of market share in your space — this is the book for you.  It will help you overcome the catch-22 that grips incumbent companies; to embrace the disruption and lost your competitive advantage or to ignore the disruption and lose your business.

There is only one answer and that is to prepare for disruption and create your own disruption.  This book will show you how.

Disruption is the New Normal

To disrupt means to interrupt.  The assumption is that things are moving along steadily and then something happens to interrupt that motion. Disruption is seen as something that is a surprise, that is unexpected and that doesn’t happen very often.  Perhaps this used to be true, these days you can count on disruption as much as you can count on change.

The books listed here will get you familiar with disruption in such a way that you will see it coming, you will embrace it and perhaps even create it for yourself.  Happy Reading.Reading.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."