I want to call out a specific point that connects the dots between two of my prior articles, From $100k-$1M: Tyranny Of The TAM and Corporate Innovation Management: A Methodology Discussion.
In my interview with Jim Euchner for the Research-Technology Management journal, I said:
If you think of entrepreneurship outside of a corporation, often business ideas with a total available market of $200 million, $300 million will get ignored. It may not be possible to bootstrap them, but venture capitalists will not fund them. These are ideal for corporate innovation.
Let’s say you have a product line and you have a customer base for that product line. Perhaps there are opportunities to innovate in that same general space. You have customers who are giving you input, you have engineers and product marketers inside the organization who have perspective and who have ideas, people who have domain knowledge and ideas. They might come up with a proposal for a new product or an adjacent product that could result in a couple of hundred million dollars in revenue.
That is very, very worth doing for the corporation. It may require a $5 million investment that could yield a $200 million or $300 million business. If you train your workforce in being able to identify such opportunities, if you teach them how to validate the opportunities and frame them in the same way that an entrepreneur would, you make it possible for them to clearly present their ideas to management to consider for investment. One Million by One Million can train these people to develop and present these ideas.
You’re getting well-analyzed, well-articulated ideas, and you can look at the market and the investment required and make a very good, informed decision on whether this is a go or a no go.
As you develop your corporate innovation methodology, do keep this opportunity in mind. There is a gap in the startup world because of the singular focus of the VCs on hyper large TAM, ultra fast growth market opportunities.
Corporations don’t need that.
You have a wide-open opportunity in which to innovate.
Photo credit: Steve Davidson/Flickr.com.
This segment is a part in the series : Corporate Innovation Management