Companies once deemed “too big to fail” are increasingly exposed to failure. The threat of disruption is everywhere. Startups are taking on the Goliaths in every market. Scores of malls across the United States are in collapse. Many household brand names are losing ground or even shutting completely. Regardless of industry, businesses face digital Darwinism, the evolution of technology and markets. Disruption is just a matter of when, where and why. To compete, executives must make tough decisions but more so, they must look to new horizons for new insight and direction. Whether companies thrive or cower in the face of digital Darwinism is a choice.
Too many notes, Mozart was once told. Too many ideas, we might say today. The culture of innovation is awash with idea generation and its sidekick, fail-fast fail cheap innovation. Worse, we need a culture of transformation not just innovation. Accenture recently reported that 81% of executives they interviewed see platforms as central to their strategy over the next three years.
Paul Brody is a Global Innovation Leader in BlockChain Technology and a Solution Leader in the Industrial Internet of Things at EY. Paul has spent more than 15 years in the electronics industry and has done extensive research for his clients on technology strategy. Paul understands that technology is deeply rooted in strategy, but it gets complex as new technologies and disruptions arise in our modern world. For example, the moment self-driving cars are perfected, it will cause a huge disruption in our economy, so how can we navigate through it?
Retired serial entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank traces the origin of technology startups and venture capital in Silicon Valley. An adjunct professor in Stanford’s School of Engineering, Blank talks about how the very first semiconductor business in the valley spawned 65 other chip companies over the next 20 years. The increased activity and a loosening of financial regulations subsequently led to the birth of venture capital, according to Blank.
Results-based work environments, also known as results-only work environments (ROWE) aim to increase productivity by giving employees the freedom to work in the manner that suits them best as long as they produce results. The old paradigm of coming in to work at a set time and leaving at a set time hasn’t been the standard for quite some time. Employees regularly have to work long hours, and there is research that shows these long hours may be better spent working from home. The Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College notes that this shift represents a dramatic change from the traditional 40-hour work week.
Innovation that Matters examines and ranks 25 cities’ readiness to capitalize on the inevitable shift to a digital economy. It carves out critical trends every U.S. city leader can learn from and offers recommendations local leaders can adopt to strengthen their region’s digital competitiveness.
Automotive industry insiders admit to seeing potential new market entrants from Silicon Valley as a “competitive threat”, and say the only way to stay ahead of the game is through partnerships and collaborations between both the traditional auto players and other IP owners. These views, and many more, were expressed at IAM’s recent event on IP in the auto industry, which Auto Harvest co-hosted with World Trademark Review at the start of this month.
Stanford University President John Hennessy defines entrepreneurship as transforming an idea into something real that can have wide impact, not just starting a business. In conversation with Tina Seelig, professor of the practice in Stanford’s Department of Management Science & Engineering, Hennessy also discusses some of the essential ingredients in Silicon Valley’s “secret sauce.”
Innovation is not a monopoly of Silicon Valley, says venture capitalist Randy Komisar. But entrepreneurship as a profession, he notes, is practiced best on KPCB’s home turf. Here, failure isn’t personal, and it is tolerated for approximately 70 percent of the businesses that launch here. The Valley offers a unique understanding that Plan A is often flawed and that failure is a necessity for true innovation, and thus it offers the space for smart and inventive people to reassess and move on to the next venture. This key difference that has evolved over the past 70 years, says Komisar, is what has made Silicon Valley thrive.
The innovation ecosystem is not new but it certainly has many new features. Jorn Bang Andersen looks back at the evolution of the innovation ecosystem, where it is now headed and how companies can develop ecosystem strategies.
Steven Klepper, the recipient of the 2011 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, has spent all of his professional career looking at how innovation and the fate of large firms are so closely intertwined. His conclusions on how large firms, start-ups and clusters interact should be required reading for innovation managers and strategists everywhere.