Startup Innovation

I’ve written two trend reports, both available on iBooks only. I chose iBooks because of my intended audience – senior executives who are most likely to have the devices that can access them. The process of publishing for iBooks was also super easy by using iBooks Author – software that manages the creation and publishing side of things.

The context for both is Work of the Future and they were part of a series. My third to be was started but has now become much more about trend watching with frequent updates on various trends through posts on this site.

Below is the second I wrote:


Executives in boardrooms are increasingly thinking, worrying and talking about a new factor that’s changing everything in their world – the growth, innovation and market power of small and start-up companies. In a recent survey of 250 executives at both large and small firms, about 40 percent said their industries were being disrupted by start-ups. Most respondents believed that small companies have significant marketplace advantages over their larger counterparts, such as a greater willingness to take risks and more flexibility.

In short, large corporations are focusing their attention on small and start-up companies as never before, cooperating with them, mentoring them, investing in them, behaving like them or acquiring them.

As the world of business moves faster, only those agile and innovative enough survive and thrive. A new breed of company is being spawned from the startup ecosystem or is created by entrepreneurial individuals working inside existing organisations, emulating startups and/or working with them. This second report covers the trend and documents those leading the way, their practices and it shows you a path.

Disrupting Innovation

Let’s be frank, innovation could do with some innovating. Startups are leading the way.

My experience running a startup, working at several and through mentoring startups, has given me unique insights into how well they are positioned to disrupting not just markets, but innovation itself. I wrote a trend report about this: Startup Innovation.

Hackathons have typically been the preserve of startups but large organisations are adopting them too now. I have found them to be rather effective in mixing things up and making something that is normally formal and stuffy, much more fun and engaging. I’ve taken part in many, even won some, at startups and large organisations alike – more here: Hackathon Success.

Having learned a thing or two about what works, I help organisations take the best approaches to disrupting their innovation efforts.

Click to Enlarge

In line with my Success Hacking approach, I see Hackathons as a key intrapreneurial activity and route to innovation. This is a post I wrote some time ago based on work I did supporting customers with running hackathons to drive innovation efforts (see article at left, just one example). My post includes a breakdown of the full blown approach we took over several weeks if not months – the full monty. I also describe an instant, no frills approach that you can run with teams over a few hours. This all borrows from practices that startups have popularised and I have been using to good effect.

It is quality rather than quantity that matters in innovation, but without quantity, you might not get to quality. Hackathons are a way of Innovation Hacking, as I call it and is the lean and agile way to get to the few from the many in a fun, informal and engaging way.

Below is a summary video I created to explain the approach at the time.