NXT #startupenvy

April 19, 2012
by Rose Manning


Don’t you sometimes wish you could go back to being a newborn? Lots of big companies do. They miss the freedom, the risk-taking, the flip-flops and the lack of meetings. Corporations are starting to see that the shit that makes them a powerhouse makes it really hard to be innovative and forward-thinking. And their obligation to shareholders makes it hard to value the risky things that young companies do – what makes for a good startup doesn’t always make for a good business. Also, the vibe of the workplace is more important than ever and startups are cool, man.

“Executives at GE are bracing for a new future. The challenge they face is the same one staring down wide swaths of corporate America, not to mention government, schools, and other institutions that have defined how we’ve lived: These organizations have structures and processes built for an industrial age, where efficiency is paramount but adaptability is terribly difficult. We are finely tuned at taking a successful idea or product and replicating it on a large scale. But inside these legacy institutions, changing direction is rough” (Fast Company).

“I also see a movement around start-ups – in mentality and practice, even if not literally out of the garage. I’ve had multiple corporate clients tell me that they have been directed to act like start-ups and take a scrappy, entrepreneurial attitude to getting stuff done. Like the corporation realizes it is getting in its own way” (Augusta).

“Often you begin with a technical founder, a scientific founder, someone with deep knowledge who is the best person to lead the charge during the early development of the product. But as soon as they succeed at hitting that milestone, they have to go and build a company. Often they have the exact wrong set of skills for the next stage of development. And one of the big problems is that their success heightens their belief that they’re the right person to keep running the show” (New York Times).

How do we bring the flexibility and creativity of startups to more established companies?

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