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Innovation and New Product Development Case Study

Case Title:

Steve Jobs: The Disruptive Innovator

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Rupesh, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: General Business


Case Code: IPD0073

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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With the launch of Apple iPods in 2001(100 pieces sold every minute) and the iTunes Music Store in 2003 that has sold one billion songs online since its inception, Steve Jobs has re-defined the rules of the digital music business. Disney's acquisition of Pixar made Steve Jobs a powerful competitor in the global entertainment and media industry. When chronicled, Job's business practices right from the establishment of Apple Inc. through iTunes music store might qualify him as a disruptive innovator. Not only has he made each of his companies worth their salt, but also reinvented a business practice.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the concept of disruptive innovation and debate whether Steve Jobs can be characterised as disruptive innovator
  • To discuss the need for companies to manage disruptive innovations
  • To analyse the growth strategies of Apple and Pixar and the innovative business approaches of Steve Jobs
  • To discuss how disruptive innovations create challenges for the incumbent companies and affect an industry as a whole.

Keywords : Disruptive innovation; Apple Computers; Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating system; Pixar Animation Studios; Innovation Management Case Study; Competition in the global Personal Computer (PC) market; On-line entertainment; Digital music players; On-line music stores; iPod; Video iPod; Disney's acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios


  • Introduction
  • Steve jobs and his two creations: Apple computer and Pixar
  • Steve jobs: using disruptive innovation to maintain leadership

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