‘Finding’ Innovation

‘Finding’ Innovation

‘Finding’ Innovation

In a highly competitive market, and one where market dynamics are changing faster than ever,

innovation is the key to long-term sustainability and success. History has proven that

companies that have a culture that encourages innovation stand a far better chance at

sustaining their leadership position or emerging as market leaders.

Harvey Firestone, an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber

Company once said, “Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You

can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset

you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.”

Businesses recognize that. Most progressive businesses have put in place people, processes,

resources, and investments and encourage a culture that fosters innovation.

Considering the fact that companies need to innovate faster than ever before, many companies

now are also looking for absorbing innovation that is independently created outside their

company. Smart companies recognize that they cannot hire all the smart people, and that

smart and relevant innovation is also happening outside of their organization. Their efforts are

therefore directed not just in innovating within the organization, but on engaging with

innovations from outside as well.

By ‘outsourcing’ innovation, many leading companies have managed to minimize innovation

costs and associated risks by as much as 60% to 90% while simultaneously reducing cycle times.

In addition, they leverage tens to hundreds of times by internally investing the resultant

savings. By engaging with innovators outside the organization, larger companies are able to

look at a significantly larger pool of concepts and products, and thus are able to significantly

reduce the cost of deploying innovative solutions and products for their businesses.

To enjoy the benefits of outsourcing innovation, the executives and the front-line should be on

the lookout for the latest and most innovative technologies emerging across the globe and then

figure out which ones they can leverage to derive the maximum synergy.

What is important is that you catch innovative companies’ young, i.e., when they are still in the

startup or early-growth stage. Identifying and engaging with companies at an early stage has

significant benefits for a large company, not just in monetary benefits, but also in being able to

guide the product / concept design to best suit their own use case.

Larger companies who may not have the ability and bandwidth to scout for innovation

independently can easily collaborate or partner with enablers in the entrepreneurial eco-

system like accelerators, incubators, early-stage funds, and also the emerging online platforms

that showcase startups and early-stage companies. Domain specific ‘hackathons’, mentoring

clinics, and boot camps are some other ways in which larger companies can connect with

relevant innovators.

Once the organization has identified which of these innovations fits into their scheme of things,

there are 3 options before them:

a) Acquire the company – in some situations for competitive reasons and to get a longer

lead-time compared to competition it might make sense to acquire the company.

b) Use the product – – sometimes it is worthwhile to simply use the product as an add-on

or bolt on to the existing eco-system to provide a unique offering or enrichment to the

existing solution.

c) Partner with the company – This option involves jointly developing the product or

innovation further, keeping in mind your specific requirement. This way, the innovation

can be customized to suit your needs.

These are interesting times, particularly for software products. The pace and quality of

innovation in India has gone up significantly. At iSPIRT, we have seen the quality of

entrepreneurial talent, ideas and products, improve rapidly. We have quite a few global

standard companies as witnessed by the global scale acquisitions, and the pace at which newer

ideas are being introduced is very encouraging. It is also encouraging to note that a number of

larger companies have already connected with us to get an early glimpse into innovations. The

InTech50 event is a great initiative to showcase innovation to CIOs, product leaders and VC’s

that provide the platform for the innovators to springboard.

LEAVE A COMMENT:

Intech50

Innovation for a Smarter Future
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  • arvind@terrenegln.com

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