Friday, October 12, 2012

How Big Companies Act Like Startups

Soren Kaplan wrote a terrific article recently for Fast Company.   Kaplan explained how some large companies try to act more like startups in an effort to jumpstart innovation.  He outlines four key practices/principles that invigorate innovation:

1. Follow customers home:  In other words, conduct anthropological research.  Go into customer homes and observe them in their natural settings using various products and services.

2.  Tap outside collaborators:  Bring in experts and innovators from outside the firm to bring fresh perspectives, explain their research, and educate folks about how things are done elsewhere.

3.  Stay small:  Don't think in terms of bet-the-company type projects.  Think instead in terms of low cost, rapid experimentation.

4.  Use the best, invent the rest:  Creating a new product or service doesn't mean inventing the entire thing from scratch.  Often, you can combine off-the-shelf components with proprietary innovations to develop a unique new product.

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