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The Hybrid Innovation Approach to Technological Innovation

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Disruptive Innovation
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Eugene James
Manager, Switzerland

The Hybrid Innovation Approach to Technological Innovation

Companies need to carefully think about the timing and way to adopt technological disruptions. Adopting technological disruption too late can squander competitive advantages, but adopting it too early can be devastating as well. Rather than spell doom and gloom, it is important to embrace disruption by combining current with novel technology.
According to Furr and Snow (2015), the "hybrid approach" is an effective way to deal with technological disruption. In essence a hybrid strategy is intended to serve as "stepping stones to survive and prosper in the next generation." Hybrids combine different stages of disruption: mature, recent and emerging. For each stage a particular form of hybrid strategy exists and is defined by the type of market and customer needs:
  1. MATURE STAGE: In the mature phase of disruption, companies identify means to adapt. A bottleneck strategy is relevant when the business ecosystem is still not fully developed and complimentary goods are not readily available.
  2. RECENT STAGE: When disruption is already under way, companies must capture information regarding the technological breakthroughs and customer needs. A niche strategy is well suited to take advantage of particular customer needs that are not fulfilled.
  3. EMERGING STAGE: In the case of emerging disruption, companies can integrate concepts of prototypes into current technology to test the relevance and development of disruptive features. These may serve the purpose of improving existing products and services.
Besides the stage, following considerations can guide the appropriate choice for a hybrid innovation strategy:
  • Pick a strategy that enables the company to position itself so as to maximize the impact of the hybrid innovation.
  • Determine the company's capabilities. Figure what capability can be acquired and what can be developed within. Be mindful of how the capabilities can integrate within the existing business model and whether new investment is required.
  • Plan investment in new activities needed to develop the hybrid innovation.
  • Estimate the time-frame for the hybrid innovation. Consider whether it will be for a short period or in the long run. However, resist getting stuck with a particular solution as this can be costly in terms of resources and missed opportunities.
Source: Nathan Furr, Daniel Snow, "The Prius Approach", November 2015, HBR.
 

Rating

 
5
Rick Mueller
Professor, United States
 

Examples of (Successful) Hybrid Innovation Strategy?

Eugene, Christensen appears to embrace/endorse the hybrid approach for education as well. I have yet... Sign up

 
1
Eugene James
Manager, Switzerland
 

Examples of Hybrid Innovation Strategy 1: Intel's Pentium P6 Processor

Thank you Rick for your comment. I agree that hybrid solutions do not generally lead to end-products... Sign up

 
1
Rick Mueller
Professor, United States
 

Intel Disruptive Innovation Examples, But not Succesful

Hi Eugene and thanks. Intel is a treasure trove of Disruptive Innovation examples, both pro and con.... Sign up

 
1
Eugene James
Manager, Switzerland
 

Examples of Hybrid Innovation Strategy 2: Microsoft's Surface Device

The world of computing does seem to offer a fertile ground for such strategies. Microsoft appears to... Sign up

 
1
Rick Mueller
Professor, United States
 

Surface no Success in Hybrid Innovation Strategy

Hi Eugene and thanks again. Surface is certainly a contemporary example of hybridization that should... Sign up

 

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More on Disruptive Innovation:
Summary
Discussion Topics
topic Innovation Strategy: the Three Horizons of Growth (McKinsey)
topic The Jobs to be Done Approach (JTBD) and Disruptive Innovation
topic Disruptive versus Incremental Innovation
topic Disruptive Innovation: Product versus Platform
topic Tips for Innovation Strategy
topic Strategic Options for Old-Technology Firms
topic Diversity of Perspective is Key to Disruptive Innovation
topic List of Disruptive Technologies
topic How can Incumbents (Established Corporates) Respond to Disruptors?
topic How to Develop Disruptive Innovation Skills?
topic Timing is Important to Make an Innovative Idea Disruptive
topic How to Find Innovative Ideas? From Analogous Markets...
topic Three Types of Innovation (Christensen)
topic WHAT is Being Innovated? The 4 Ps of Innovation
topic Is Disruptive Innovation Radical? is it a Breakthrough?
topic Disruptive Innovation: What Causes the Creative Leap?
topic How to Sustain Disruptive Innovation?
topic Leadership Skills / Approaches for Successful Innovation
topic Innovation Ideas in Economic Slowdowns
👀The Hybrid Innovation Approach to Technological Innovation
topic Examples of Disruptive Innovation
topic Ways to Incorporate Disruptive Innovation as Part of the Management Agenda
🔥 The Six Ds of Exponential Technologies (Diamandis)
topic The Word 'Disruptive' in Disruptive Innovation
topic What is Disruptive Innovation Exactly? Definition
topic Comparison Disruptive Innovation versus Blue Ocean Strategy
topic Slow Innovation: PROs, CONs and Tips
topic Disruptive Innovation and Public Sector Organisations
topic Innovation in Developing Countries (Leapfrogging)
topic Is Value Innovation Equal to Disruptive Innovation?
topic Why is Disruptive Innovation Difficult?
topic Is Consumption Needed for Disruptive Innovation?
Special Interest Group

SIG Leader

Do you know a lot about Disruptive Innovation? Become our SIG Leader

Knowledge Center

Disruptive Innovation
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