According to Steve Blank, companies have been innovating as long as companies have been around. The issue today is not the ability to innovate, but the ability to innovate at the speed and urgency of a startup. Listen as he explains innovating at the speed and urgency of a startup and the role of lean innovation management.
Rapid Innovation in Large Companies
So historically innovation’s not new for companies. People figured out how to make products since companies have been around. And historically, companies pursuing innovation had a set of choices. You could build it yourself. You could buy either IP or technology or product lines, or entire companies. You could partner with other companies, or in the last five or 10 years, Hank Chesbrough’s work at Berkeley said and we can also open innovate, that is use third parties and create platforms or API’s.
But trying to find a unified theory of innovation that allowed established companies to innovate internally with a speed and urgency of startups kind of eluded our grasp. And that’s the big idea. It’s not that we didn’t know how to innovate. We kept looking at these like small little companies who were a fraction of our size and go, “How the heck did they do that in that speed?” and in the old days it didn’t matter because the startups were few and far between.
But now startups are everywhere and are starting to take market share, and starting to kind of affect the long-term viability of a good number of companies, and so being able to integrate a unified theory of innovation, while taking the best practices from startups is the whole goal of lean innovation management.