Reinventing the Startup Model via Hyper Innovation

This year brings about some sad commentary about the future of the startup as we know it. The startup failure rates are statistically still very high and the huge VC funding push is starting to wane.

The goal in 2015 was to be an out of the gate Unicorn with a $Billion plus valuation with world domination in a disruptive domain, an unrealistic approach to building an ecosystem of sustainable growth companies.

We also saw the University and Government funded Accelerator programs get called to task by channelling funding to only the projects that could be “commercialized”. Many are acquired too early to develop global operations and many founders punch out with low valuation bids long before scale can be achieved.

So the next waves of startup cohorts are starting to realize that the process is gated and filtered against those who do not have the perfect idea, product, pitch, co-founder and business model. These basically intangible variables are actually a huge impedance to overall innovation IP development and global commercialization.

Disruption is happening to established companies and in order for them to survive or thrive, they are leaning to Open Innovation models to learn to compete effectively. The popularity and validity of Lean Startup can be used in this model, but it is not the only model that supports Innovating Strategically.

Open Innovation has also spawned a subset and subculture of Hyper Innovation where large companies like Cisco collaborate with their existing (non-competing) partners to solve problems together. They set up labs and co-create using teams and all technologies and resources to quickly iterate solutions.

The outputs are vetted with customers using advisory boards, IP shared equally, seed investments secured and product development as MVP’s delivered in 60 days. This got me to thinking that startups should not be pushing rope and hitting resistance at the earliest stages of their most basal abilities.

Craig Stark

What if interested entrepreneurs entered into Innovation Teams instead of startup incubators and accelerators to learn and grow with a more organic and transparent process? They can develop specific skills, get on active teams to solve customer problems and then pick the project/ development tasks which they are ready and qualified for.

If customers are involved in the process, it’s a better chance to get the business model right the first time and finding distribution and partnership opportunities become extensions of the process rather than huge external and uphill exercises (where most startup failures happen). The other benefit is that funding engines can be developed with first customers that can scale (big co’s) allowing future rounds of funding to seek them vs. stalling and crashing on securing a series A or B round.

The Hyper Innovation model fits in nicely with the need to speed up specific tech skill transfer (a current gap in education and job creation) and the ability to create a solid IP portfolio vs. an app graveyard and failed startups. The IP portfolio can scale in value many ways including “value release” from dormant IP in many companies in the form of Technology Licensing (eg.GE) and Open Sourcing (eg.Tesla)

Craig Stark

This can provide teams with new opportunities to co create value and value capture models. The Hyper Innovation Model needs to be implemented in every strategic market and industry sector and should not be limited by funding or customer oriented frictions which exist in the startup ecosystem today.



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