To test this analysis, I then examine a wider range of examples. First, I consider the hard disk industry, which is the cornerstone of Christensen’s Ph.D. thesis and the primary case in The Innovator’s Dilemma. I re-examine the industry in light of an additional twenty years of experience and research. In this re-examination, I find that for only one leapfrogging innovation did disruption actually occur (the move from 8 inch to 5.25 inch drives) when Seagate entered. For other innovations, while entrants were often first to market, the incumbents usually ended up reasserting dominance. For instance, Seagate remains the dominant disk drive manufacturer today, nearly three decades after its initial entry. The conclusion is that some form of shield stood in the way of disruption for most market leaders in this industry.
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