How Many Startups Have You Invested In?

By | March 25, 2010

Does this look familiar? Someone comes up with a new idea. That idea is shared and has promise. It is then sent up the “chain” where it increasingly meets resistance. More often than not, it is killed. Why?

  • It is too different from what we do today
  • We don’t have resources that can be taken off “approved” projects
  • It would take too much time and expense to prove that the idea could be profitable
  • It didn’t come from the group that is responsible for new ideas…
Is this how a company operates that has an effective innovation process? No? It turns out that most large companies struggle with innovation. There is little appetite to try new things, especially those that do not have a guaranteed return on investment. The problem is, that it is very difficult to predict which idea may become the game changer.
Companies that have proven innovation capabilities are those that operate more like a venture capitalist. They understand the logarithmic nature of ideas to those that change the game. Venture capitalist’s spread their bets across a wide range of options. Knowing that very few will be winners but those that are usually boggle your mind at how much revenue they can produce.
Is your company designed to support innovation? Have you created an environment that generates thousands of ideas so you can discover the true jewels? Do you have a program where resources can and will be applied to ideas so they can quickly be evaluated? Are you willing to release ideas to the market knowing they may fail?
Innovative companies rock the core of how an organization operates. Most companies resist investing resources to work on ideas that may fail – remember most will certainly not make the cut. Most companies want to spend months “proving” and idea is profitable before trying anything. Most companies limit investments to those pre-planned strategic bets that have already been made. Do you want to be like most companies? Is “your” company like most companies?
If you have thoughts about innovation then please comment. I have more to say about this but wanted to start the conversation with this post.
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