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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Should the Christensen Self-Disruption Playbook Be Thrown Out?

Joshua Gans at Digitopoly:

Google Plus exemplifies why self-disruption doesn’t work: Google is slowly but clearly shuttering Google Plus; its latest failed social network. In many respects this is not a surprise. As I wrote upon its launch in 2011, Google Plus demonstrated precisely why Google didn’t get social as it, by default, asked people to think about restricting their social activity rather than by encouraging it as a default. It nudged people in precisely the wrong direction in its attempt to differentiate itself from Facebook. Thus, even though it had many ‘pros’ in the network effects ledger — in particular, millions with Gmail accounts — this ‘con’ combined with Facebook’s already significant network put it well behind. It didn’t seem to stand a chance.
So why did it happen in the first place? It is not like Google weren’t already dominant in search and online advertising and remain so today. It is hard to know but in reading things like this Mashable account I have a theory. I’ll admit that this theory will reflect my current theoretical biases but that doesn’t make it less of a theory; just that the evidence, should it ever emerge, may not support it.
Here it is: Google Plus was launched and organized according to Clay Christensen‘s self-disruption playbook. ...

After a long explanation, he ends with:

I would ... suggest that self-disruption has never actually worked and the Christensen playbook on this should be thrown out. But that is a post for another day.

Simple things like the ability to automatically share blog posts were missing. The rise -- such as it was -- and fall of Google+ is not surprising at all.

    Posted by on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 12:17 PM Permalink  Comments (2)


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