Innovation at Large Companies–Is it possible?

I found this interesting blog post about why and how large companies should be embracing innovation. Ferhan Bulca references an article he read recently about how larger corporations have a duty to become better innovators. This past summer I worked at a bank that funded many start-up tech and life science companies. I learned a lot about how new and upcoming technology and biomedical products could change our world. The bank helped no-name start up entrepreneurs, as well as some medium sized companies, reviewing companies on intellectual property. Therefore, I found this article extremely interesting because in my personal experience, I would agree with Bulca in that many of the people with fantastic new ideas do not come from large corporations at all. Bulca lists some reasons why large corporations should take advantage of their financial position and hire innovators to develop the “next new thing,” and I think he is right in many ways.

However, I think there are some major drawbacks and speed bumps that hinder larger corporations from doing this. For example, the sheer amount of people an innovator of a new product would have to coordinate with, report to, and collaborate with is hindering and discouraging. Additionally, the innovator could have the potential to make a lot more money if he works alone rather than if he is working for a large corporation. Of course an “established brand” has many advantages, but many innovators possess an entrepreneurial character and want to create their own brand. Additionally, many large companies have a strictly established culture which does not always allow for innovation and which would be difficult to change. Overall, I believe there are many advantages and disadvantages to Bulca’s point, and it serves as an interesting topic to debate.


3 thoughts on “Innovation at Large Companies–Is it possible?

  1. I think the biggest takeaway from your post is the struggles that an innovator would have in a big company. This big corporations have created structures where the amount of creative impact one single individual can have is minimal. The people who DO have the ability to influence innovation are so high up in these companies that they can get lost in the fast paced world of executive life. Bringing in an outside “innovation firm” is difficult too because the values and goals of the two entities may not coincide. This is an interesting problem that I think could hinder the growth of innovation in the future or help mid tier companies emerge.

  2. Pingback: More Thoughts on Large Companies and Innovation – An Oxymoron? «

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