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The New Corporate Garage

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kingusvarga
Words 5429
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The Big Idea

hbr.org

Scott D. Anthony is the managing director of
Innosight Asia-Pacific and the author of The Little
Black Book of Innovation
(Harvard Business Review
Press, 2012).

The New
Corporate
Garage

Illustration: otto steininger

Where today’s most innovative—and world-changing—thinking is taking place by Scott D. Anthony

Quick: List the big companies that have launched paradigm-shifting innovations in recent decades. There’s
Apple—and, well, Apple. The popular perception is that most corporations are just too big and deliberate to produce game-changing inventions. We look to hungry entrepreneurs—the Gateses, Zuckerbergs, Pages, and
Brins—instead. The rise of fast, nimble, and passionate venture-capital-backed entrepreneurs seems to have made slow-paced big-company innovation obsolete, or at least to have consigned it to the world of incremental advances. But Apple’s inventiveness is no anomaly; it indicates a dramatic shift in the world of innovation. The revolution spurred by venture capitalists decades ago has created the conditions in which scale enables big companies to stop shackling innovation and start unleashing it.

September 2012 Harvard Business Review 45

The Big Idea The New Corporate Garage

Three trends are behind this shift. First, the increasing ease and decreasing cost of innovation mean that start-ups now face the same short-term pressures that have constrained innovation at large companies; as soon as a young company gets a whiff of success, it has to race against dozens of copycats.
Second, large companies, taking a page from startup strategy, are embracing open innovation and less hierarchical management and are integrating entrepreneurial behaviors with their existing capabilities. And third, although innovation has historically been product- and service-oriented, it increasingly involves creating business models that tap big…...

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