The current market is full of really interesting SaaS companies that have built up at least $100M in annual revenue run rate (ARR). Some have gone public. Some are waiting in the wings. There are also many more that are in the $50M to $100M ARR range.
They serve different segments. Some serve verticals. Some horizontal enterprise functions. Some large niches. Some enterprises. Some mid-market. Some SME.
Together, the SaaS market is a healthy, robust, exciting cauldron of innovation.
Unlike Social Media, Search or e-Commerce, SaaS is not an oligopoly. [ref: An Oligopoly, After All This?]
And these SaaS companies that have achieved critical mass in their own segments now have an unprecedented opportunity of scaling to become much larger businesses by broadening their footprints.
They can look within, and look outside to identify the growth levers.
Let me explain.
Maxwell Wessel, General Manager of SAP.IO, talks about SAP’s Corporate Incubation strategy.
Anyone involved in a corporate innovation program soon learns that it is quite complex to manage the nuances of such programs and get them to work right.
Last year I spent half a day with approximately 40 Fortune 500 Chief Innovation Officers at Xerox PARC, and discussed our experience with corporate innovation methodology through the1M/1M Incubator In A Box program. A few months later, Jim Euchner, the CIO of Goodyear, interviewed me for the Research-Technology Management journal.
Last summer I spent half a day with approximately 40 Fortune 500 Chief Innovation Officers at Xerox PARC, and discussed our experience with corporate innovation methodology through the1M/1M Incubator In A Box program.
A few months later, Jim Euchner, the CIO of Goodyear, interviewed me for the Research-Technology Management journal and I summarized some key excerpts from the discussion here: Corporate Innovation Management: A Methodology Discussion
Continuing with our discussion on corporate innovation methodology, in this piece, I want to highlight a couple of key organizational challenges: (1) How do ideas flow into execution, (2) Where are the push backs?
Let me call out another specific point from my previous article, Corporate Innovation Management – A Methodology Discussion, that addresses the first issue.
In my interview with Jim Euchner for the Research-Technology Management journal, I said:
JE: Are these same people, if it’s a go, charged with trying to make it work?
Google became a pioneer in the domain of corporate innovation some years ago by introducing the notion of 20% unstructured time in which employees could work on whatever they wanted.
Other large enterprises followed along, and started experimenting with their own interpretations of unstructured time.
Most came to the conclusion, including Google itself, that completely unstructured time is not productive, and does not yield innovative ideas or projects.