Rich Alton

Rich Alton

Director, Emerging Research


My research has focused on new and emerging areas of industry and technology that can be examined through the lenses of innovation theory. I like to take whatever topics are top of mind (AI, autonomous vehicles, etc.) and explain their dynamics with Disruptive Innovation Theory, Business Models Theory, Job to Be Done Theory, and more.

I first came into contact with Clayton Christensen as a student in his famous course at Harvard Business School (HBS) called “Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise.” It felt like every day in that class I had a “light bulb” moment that changed the way I saw the world.

Then, by a stroke of luck, Professor Christensen asked me to join his new initiative at HBS called the Forum for Growth and Innovation. At that close range, I was also able to observe how incredible of a person he was. It was such a privilege to learn from him, both about business and about life. I can easily say that Clayton Christensen has been the most impactful mentor in my life, and it’s an honor to further his legacy via the Institute.


  • Director, Emerging Research, the Christensen Institute
  • Managing Director, Alton Advisors
  • Portfolio Manager, Q Investments
  • Research Associate, Harvard Business School (Forum for Growth and Innovation)
  • Associate, Sorenson Capital
  • Associate Consultant, Bain & Company
  • Brigham Young University, BS
  • Harvard Business School, MBA