The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, made the point that successful companies can lose their way when they pay too much attention to legacy products and not enough attention to new stuff. They are making so much money they either don’t see a competitor rising up or are too complacent to feel threatened. In either case the incumbent generally loses and the upstart (usually one of many) generally wins,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely. “The best way for successful companies to avoid this problem is by inventing the future before their competitors do.”

“We see this pattern over and over in high tech,” Cringely writes. “Remember Lotus? Remember Word Perfect? Remember Borland? And it’s not just in software. Remember IBM sticking too long with the 80286 processor? Remember the Osbourne Executive?”

Cringely writes, “Microsoft certainly faces this dilemma today, having nothing with which to replace Windows and Office. Some say Apple, too, is living now on the wrong side of the innovation curve, but I don’t think so. I think Cupertino has a plan… Apple in a sense is about to make the Macintosh deliberately obsolete. This doesn’t mean Apple is going out of the Mac business. Why would they drop a hardware platform that still delivers industry-leading profit margins? But a growing emphasis from here on out will be the role of iOS on the desktop.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mtnmnn” for the heads up.]