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.
Last summer, I was invited to spend half a day with ~40 Fortune 500 Chief Innovation Officers at Xerox PARC, and discuss our experience with corporate innovation methodology through the 1M/1M Incubator In A Box program.
A few months later, Jim Euchner, the CIO of Goodyear, interviewed me for the Research-Technology Management journal. It’s a comprehensive discussion that those of you thinking about corporate innovation may find interesting. For the month of May, the interview is accessible free of charge at the journal’s website.
Teaching employees to be Entrepreneurs will become standard fare in corporate America.
I wrote an earlier piece on this topic Why Corporations Should Train More Intrapreneurs, back in October.
In today’s post, I want to discuss some trends we’re seeing in our work with various corporate partners who are either already implementing or considering internal programs for teaching employees entrepreneurship.
First, consider what an entrepreneur does.
Corporate venture capital takes many different forms. The most common one is to help the parent company keep its fingers on strategic innovation. Typically, this includes both adjacent revenue opportunities, as well as new business areas, including some that may be disruptive to the company’s core business.
My main observation about what corporate venture capital needs to do differently from generic VC is around how the subject of TAM (Total Available Market) is considered.
In ordinary venture capital, more often than not, the goal is to identify billion dollar, hyper fast-growth business opportunities.
These, though, are extremely difficult to find.
There are, however, many more $100 million, $200 million business opportunities out there.
Consider this scenario:
A large technology corporation has a few hundred products that are sold to thousands of enterprises and small-medium businesses.
Because of the fast pace of change in technology, every single product in the portfolio experiences market pressures of various kinds. Competition from startups. Integration requirements with external products. Architecture changes in the technology stack. New capabilities due to new discoveries.
How does such a corporation stay on top of the constant need to innovate, and not get disrupted by an upstart?
My answer: Train the Intrapreneurs.
Last year, we launched a program called the 1M/1M Incubator-in-a-Box. Part of its goal has been to stimulate corporate innovation and intrapreneurship. It has exposed us to a broad range of technology companies and their innovation goals, strategies, and processes. While most of what we have learned is confidential, I will synthesize some trends we’re seeing in this domain.
There is a real trend developing right now of corporations becoming crucibles of innovation and entrepreneurship in a systematic way. In this post, I will discuss four specific sub-categories of this trend that we’re seeing, and for all practical purposes, participating in.
We have two interesting discussions in this interview with Naveen: one about Big Data and a second one about Corporate Incubation. As you know, in 1M/1M, we’re working on Corporate Incubation quite extensively. Naveen throws light on Xerox’s strategy.
Sramana Mitra: Naveen, let’s start with a bit of your background and also by setting the context of the old Xerox versus the new Xerox.
Naveen Sharma: First of all, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Naveen Sharma. I have a dual role in Xerox. I manage a resource lab in one of Xerox’s innovation center, which is in Webster, New York. Concurrently, I also have a role as the Chief Innovation Officer, Xerox Retail. As part of my Chief Innovation Officer role, I’m tasked to develop and deliver new innovations that can eventually become new Xerox services. Most people would associate Xerox with printing services, but over fifty percent of our revenue now comes from services. It’s an area that is growing as we take a vertical approach.We are looking to bring some innovations in retail IT, as well as IT applied to some of the specific domains, such as industrial, hospitality, or media.
JR Reagan is the chief innovation officer for the federal practice at Deloitte Services. He teaches innovation and creativity at John Hopkins University and holds a masters in management information systems from Bowie State University and a BA in sociology from the State University of New York. In this interview he talks about Deloitte’s creative environment and how the company creates big data visualization. Furthermore, he talks about his vision of the future of the visualization space and open problems that need to be addressed.
Sramana Mitra: JR, let’s start by telling our readers about yourself and the program you run at Deloitte.
JR Reagan: I am a partner in our federal practice at Deloitte. I am our chief innovation officer for the federal practice, but I also run a unique center called HIVE (highly immersive visual environment). >>>
Bruce Johnson is the CEO and president of GHX, the world’s largest electronic trading exchange for healthcare. Prior to being named CEO in 2007, Johnson served as the company’s chief operating officer, with previous responsibilities at GHX including the leadership of business development, professional services, sales, marketing and corporate communications. Before joining GHX, Johnson spent 12 years at GE Healthcare in a variety of management roles in sales and marketing. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and his master’s in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Sramana: Bruce, let’s start by reviewing your personal background. Where do you come from? What is the genesis of your professional career journey?
Bruce Johnson: I grew up in the Midwest and have a background in electrical engineering. I grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska. After graduation I joined General Electric where I worked in various sales and marketing roles in the GE Healthcare business. I worked there for 12 years before joining GHX in 2000. That was at the height of the Internet craze and so myself and a handful of other GE employees started the company in 2000. I worked in sales and marketing roles until I became the COO in 2006. In 2007 I was named the CEO. >>>