29 Fantastic Clayton Christensen Quotes

Clayton Christensen is an author as well as the Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. After growing up with 7 siblings Christensen went on to obtain his BA in economics from BYU and from their attended the Harvard Business School to obtain an MBA. Since his academic career he wrote one of the most renowned business books, The Innovator’s Dilemma. Here is a collection of some of his best quotes.

“A sustaining innovation makes better products that you can sell for better profits to your best customers.”

“Almost always, great new ideas don’t emerge from within a single person or function, but at the intersection of functions of people that have never met before.”

“Decide what you want for. And then stand for it all the time.”

“Diabetes is a great example whereby, giving the patient the tools, you can manage yourself very well.”

“Do not be deceived by impostors.”

“Generally, you can be humble only if you feel really good about yourself – and you want to help those around you feel really good about themselves.”

“I had thought the destination was what was important, but it turned out it was the journey.”

“I have healed the sick by the power of God. I have spoken with the gift of tongues.”

“If we are to develop profound theory to solve the intractable problems in our societally-critical domains….we must learn to crawl into the life of what makes people tick.”

“If you defer investing your time and energy until you see that you need to, chances are it will already be too late.”

“In an environment where you’ve got to push innovations out the door fast and keep the cost of innovation low, the probability that you’ll be successful is actually much higher.”

“It’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time.”

“Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once.”

“Life is an unending stream of extenuating circumstances.”

“Management is the opportunity to help people become better people. Practiced that way, it’s a magnificent profession.”

“Management teams aren’t good at asking question. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.”

“Many of the factors that we think will cause motivation, such as fair pay and a good manager, won’t make you love your job. Even if you eliminate what makes you dissatisfied, that
doesn’t make you motivated. It doesn’t make your work rewarding. You just are less bothered by things.”

“People under invest in family because it doesn’t pay off until the long term.”

“Resources are what he uses to do it, processes are how he does it, and priorities are why he does it.”

“So the people using the Android operating system are now Motorola, Samsung, LG and they are killing Apple.”

“The concept of the value network – the context within which a firm identifies and responds to customer’s needs, solves problems, procures input, reacts to competitors, and strives for profit – is central to this synthesis. ”

“There is no evidence that success in business will make up happy people or allow us to have happy families.”

“Venture capital is always wanting to go up market.”

“We need to have an understanding of what causes what to happen in the world, and why.”

“When you improve your product so it does the customer’s job better, then you gain market share.”

“When you’re thinking about your next product or current product and wondering how to make it different so you don’t have competition, understand the job the customer needs to get
done.”

“Whenever we have thanked these men and women for what they have done for us, without exception they have expressed gratitude for having the chance to help-because they grew as they
served.”

“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.”


In the above Youtube video, Clayton Christensen discusses the interesting connections between the world of religion and capitalism.

I hope you have enjoyed this collection of 29 of my favorite Clayton Christensen quotes!

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