In “Competing Against Luck,” disruptor and Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen shares his theory for breakthrough innovation: the jobs to be done theory. In the book, he and co-authors Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall and David S. Duncan share case studies and real world examples that provide entrepreneurs and business owners with the tools they need to become more innovative—and profitable. In illustrating the jobs to be done theory, the authors pose a thought-provoking question throughout the book: “What job did you hire that product to do?”  

In this exclusive StartupNation Originals video series, we sat down with the authors to learn more about the jobs to be done theory, disruptive innovation and more.


Watch co-authors Clayton Christensen, Taddy Hall and Karen Dillon discuss case studies from “Competing Against Luck,” explain the jobs theory and more, all in exclusive videos found only at
Competing Against Luck – Clayton Christensen, Karen Dillon and Taddy Hall
Competing Against Luck – Part 2: American Girl Doll Case Study
Competing Against Luck – Part 1: International Delight Iced Coffee Case Study
Competing Against Luck – Part 3: Onstar and SNHU Case Studies

Excerpts & Articles

Read an excerpt from “Competing Against Luck,” complete with audio provided by co-author David S. Duncan. Throughout the book, the four co-authors explore the “Jobs to be Done” approach, supported by case studies of startups including Uber, Airbnb and more.

Competing Against Luck
 Disruptive Innovator Clayton Christensen Illustrates the Jobs Theory

Featuring audio excerpt of David S. Duncan explaining The Milkshake Dilemma.

Hiring OnStar: A Case Study on the Jobs to Be Done Theory

Featuring audio excerpt of David S. Duncan explaining The Milkshake Dilemma.

Bonus Feature

An exclusive interview with Chet Huber, former CEO of OnStar at GM, and Clayton Christensen’s classmate at Harvard Business School. Huber discusses OnStar’s case study featured in the book in relation to “Jobs to Be Done.”

About the Authors

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor at Harvard Business School, the author of eleven books, a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award for Harvard Business Review’s best article, and the co-founder of four companies, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight. He has twice been named the world’s most influential business thinker in a biennial ranking conducted by Thinkers50.

Taddy Hall is a Principal with The Cambridge Group and Leader of Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation Project. As such, he helps senior executives create successful new products and improve innovation processes. He also works extensively with executives in emerging markets as an advisor to the non-profit, Endeavor. He has collaborated with Christensen for nearly two decades.

Karen Dillon is the former editor of Harvard Business Review and co-author of Christensen’s New York Times bestseller, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” She is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2011, she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.

David S. Duncan is a senior partner at Innosight. He’s a leading thinker and advisor to senior executives on innovation strategy and growth, helping them navigate disruptive change, create sustainable growth and transform their organizations to thrive for the long-term. He is a graduate of Duke University and earned a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University.

“Competing Against Luck”

“Competing Against Luck” by Clayton Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan, Harper Business, on sale now at booksellers and at

Purchase your copy of “Competing Against Luck” at or wherever fine books are sold.