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Here’s another company at the…

Here’s another company at the game: Target, in Partnership with Techstars, Is Accepting Applications for Its New Retail Startup Accelerator

The key point as follows:

“In a bid to innovate both its online and in-store experience, Target has partnered up with Techstars to create a retail-focused accelerator program.”

So Target are running the accelerator primarily to help innovate its own offering.

And here too another great article on why companies and specifically CIO’s in this case, should work with startups: Why working with startups is worth it

The punchline:

So when it comes to learning what it means to be agile, fast, and tolerant of risk, who better to turn to than those organisations that live by these words every waking moment: The startup community.


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Proposed outline for interviews

This is some high level thinking on the types of interviewees being sought and questions that would be asked. The purpose is to gather feedback from practitioners that can be used in the trend report – more here. This is a work in progress and will change based on feedback (comments welcome :) and progress on actual interviews.

Target interviewees and example initiatives being explored

  • People running initiatives inside large organisations that focus on driving innovation or have an expressed and strategic interest in innovation (like senior executives)
  • People in startups that have experience working with large organisations to help them drive innovation or deliver new products and services.
  • People that have created and launched new products or services or been responsible for delivering them inside large organisations. This could include people from startups that were acquired and successfully assimilated into the organisation.
  • Initiatives could be standalone units inside large organisations that work with employees and outside suppliers or individuals (ideally startups) to drive innovation and new product or service creation and delivery
  • Initiatives could be regular events and activities intended to stimulate innovation and/or new product/service creation and delivery
  • Initiatives could be strategic programs to help reorient the organisational culture to be more innovative and intrapreneurial

Themes being explored and question examples

  1. Please describe briefly your role and its context in terms of the industry and purpose of your organisation
  2. What is your view about innovation and the role the entrepreneur plays in this?
  3. Can you describe in detail what work you do and outcomes you drive?
  4. Can you explain the methods and approaches you adopt that work and you would recommend to others?
  5. What do you think the future holds for innovation, both from an individual and organisational perspective and in the context of entrepreneurship

Other interview considerations

  • Target interview duration is 20 minutes or responses can be gathered by questionnaire, email or other means
  • Responses will be used in the book and will be quoted by person/organisation – is it okay to use the responses verbatim or is approval required beforehand?


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Why You Need Lunatics, Experts, and Connectors on Every Team

Original article here. Secrets of Innovation Teams in Established Companies from Nathan Furr, Co-author, The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Startup into Your Organization

Great lessons in what works in startups (first paragraph) but how this needs to be modified for large organisations (second paragraph).

The startup world has started to recognize that entrepreneurial teams based on the corporate divisional structure work poorly. Rather than building teams based on representation from each functional area (e.g. sales, marketing, engineering), it has become popular to talk about creating startup teams composed of a hacker, hustler and hipster (the hacker creates rapid prototypes, the hustler engages customer feedback to capture users, and the hipster frames beautiful user interfaces or connects the team to the important teams). Although this team structure works well for startups working with a blank canvas, it ignores the unique challenges faced by companies with established products and services.

Although serendipity plays a role in everything, the team that produced the 336E H hydraulic hybrid excavator had a very purposeful structure that facilitated their success. Rather than hackers, hustlers, and hipsters, the hydraulic hybrid team were composed of what we would call: lunatics, experts, and connectors. The experts provided the foundational understanding of the core technology and also Caterpillar customers. The lunatics questioned the key assumptions and brought new technologies and approaches to the table. And the connectors brought the two groups together, while connecting them to willing customers and supportive leaders. Ultimately, it was the experts and lunatics that developed the hydraulic hybrid, but the connectors and experts commercialized it.


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@intrapreneurtrends < woohooooo love it,…

@intrapreneurtrends < woohooooo love it, you can even @ mention users on this site (as long as they are users that have been created in this site, e.g. I cannot @ mention other users on Here I @ mentioned myself as a test.

You can even use hashtags when you create a post as I have done below (these get created as tags that link posts with the same tag).

In both cases you get auto suggestions of users that are in the system or hashtags already used.


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Publishing in the conversations section of this site

conversation editor

This is what it looks like above but its only visible to users logged into the site. It’s awesomely flexible and super quick – it updates without having to refresh the page. Just like on Facebook for instance. It has some rich text options and you can add easily add images, links and code even.

I love this theme which comes from WordPress and they actually use if for internal collaboration – more here:

More detail on the theme functions here (although I haven’t activated all of the options yet – like ToDo posts which I may do later):