Large corporations have been in the incubation business for some time. The names and strategies have changed but the ultimate goal is the same: to help large companies innovate, to avoid stagnation in their product lineup, and to insure growth of future sales . As Andy Grove (recently deceased ex-CEO of Intel) used to say, if you don’t obsolete yourself, then you are allowing someone else to do it for you. Companies have taken interesting approaches to this problem, Microsoft announced a corporate incubator called Microsoft Ventures to help facilitate startups and therefore build an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Business Insider article, “Google has a new division called ‘Area 120’ where employees can build their own startups” is about an innovative way that Google is incubating small businesses in their company. It reminds me of how 3M, Lucent, ATT and others were focused on innovation from within and allocated up to 10% of everyone’s work week specifically toward innovation and cultivating startups.
How much time do you spend innovating???