10+ Practical Corporate Innovation Strategies
After years of working in startups, Sean Johnson and his team began getting approached by enterprises. These companies needed help moving on ideas, accessing specialists and understanding how to be iterative. Today, Sean’s company Digital Intent works with venture-backed startups and Fortune 1000 companies wanting to be tech-enabled businesses. He is also a general partner at Founder Equity. Brian and Sean discuss a variety of corporate innovation strategies.
Here are a few highlights:
- Companies need to be making lots of little bets, with little bits of funds. Think like investors. Spread the risk.
- Corporations innovation teams can have a similar cadence to a venture fund. Life of 7-10 years and 3 deals a year. Team churn concern. How to preserve knowledge.
- Have conversations with corporate teams who are connected with customers early. Act like a startup and get realistic feedback for needs and products.
- Partner with startups. Startups are getting a channel they didn’t have, but are putting in resources and time to appease the corporation. Good strategy for corporations.
- Try an EIR (Entrepreneurs-in-residence). No legacy baggage.
- Arm corporate startup teams with a coach.
- Develop internal VC boards with members that are external and bring domain experience.
- Leverage the data companies collect by understanding how to use the data. This may create opportunities for less disruptive and more incremental improvements.
- Traditional service companies (law, accountancies, and management consultants) will automate significant portions of their work. Reinvent these business models.
- Use more tactical growth accounting. Manage to growth metrics and experiments.
If you like this interview on corporate innovation strategies, you might also be interested in Ep. 98– Sean Ammirati with Birchmere Ventures & Author of The Science of Growth and Ep. 54– Robert Walcott with Kellogg on Innovation Trends
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