The Innovator’s (and Zachman’s) Dilemma

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Clayton M. Christensen wrote The Innovator’s Dilemma almost a decade ago, but the insight his book provides is classic. Christensen’s research into the disk drive industry lead him to discover four categories of competition:

  1. Availability
  2. Compatibility
  3. Reliability
  4. Economy

Availability answered the question: Can it be done? Compatibility answered the question: Can it be done for me? Reliability answered the question: Can it be done when I need it done? Economy answered the question: Can it be done at the lowest price? The greater the number of customers you can respond to with a “Yes” answer the broader your market. However, your smart competition is looking for the niches you are responding “No” to.

When I look at these four categories I am brought back to John Zachman’s perspectives in the Zachman Framework. These same questions are posed when developing any system:

  1. Conceptual
  2. Contextual
  3. Logical
  4. Physical

The conceputal perspective answers: Can it be done? The contextual perspective answers: Can it be done by us? The logical perspective answers: Can it be routinized? The physical perspective answers: What is the lowest cost to do it? And these questions are asked for each of the focuses (People, Data, Network, Time, Functions and Motives).

So what Christensen really achieves is to provide a substantiation of his tetrad, and consequently Zachman’s, through a solid body of historical data.

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Tetrad Theories (continued)

In my previous post I gave some examples of tetrad theories. Here are some more:

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The first column is SQL again, just to give us our bearings. The second column is based on graphing terminology. The third column is based on a book Innovator’s Dilemma. The fourth column deals with the basic relationships and cardinality of data modeling. The fifth column with the basic facets of physics.

Again, the rows correlate.