We founded The Innovation Scout because we know how hard it is to succeed at innovation inside of a large company. Getting ideas is not necessarily the difficult part. It’s about finding strong, relevant solutions fast enough to make a difference in your market. It’s about discovering what is possible, testing with customers, building lean prototypes and getting to market fast. That’s reflects what a startup does. You don’t need to be a startup, but you can learn from them, use their roadmap and get moving faster by collaborating with them.
At the Innovation Scout we are all about helping you to source relevant startups and other open IP that can help you in 2 ways: to find innovation partners and to learn about potential competitors. Unfortunately time is not on your side. If you looked at the list of businesses on the Fortune 500 in 1955 compared to 2014, 88% of them are gone. Based on almost a century’s worth of market data, corporations in the S&P 500 Index in 1958 stayed in the index for an average of 61 years. In 2012 it was just 18 years. Why is this? Markets change and evolve with lightning speed these days. What you once thought was a massive hotel industry player is now an online platform for homeowners to rent out rooms. What used to be a massive infrastructure to provide telephone service is now a free voice over Internet service.
So what do you do now?
The truth is you are likely keeping pace with your market in terms of what the ‘other big guys are doing’. The problem is you are faced with a growing population of early stage players. These companies don’t have all of the structures to move fast that you do.
Startups are better at innovation than big companies. They exist because someone saw something in a different way. The cycle of failing, learning a lesson and reapplying a new solution is the key to rapid, successful innovation. Startups work in uncertainties. You probably don’t. Large companies have built an extensive network of processes to remove uncertainties. Startups are just better built for this kind of activity and mature companies can benefit greatly from these relationships.
Finding and then monitoring relevant startups is a core offering of The Innovation Scout. By getting an early understanding of how technologies can be applied differently or how a market segment is reacting to a new offering assures your business will be positioned for growth for the long haul. Setting the right course is important. For some scouts that means having a ‘wide aperture’ of possibilities for others more specific focus is needed. Laying the foundation of this work is the job of the Innovation Scout. We suggest you might use the Innovation Scout Canvas to help you set the stage.
Check out our recent whitepaper to learn how you can move faster using “Startup Thinking”. Let us know how we can help.