dancinggiants

  • headshotJaySimons

    [SPONSORED] Jay Simons: “Your real estate agent doesn’t give a shit about you” and neither do most enterprise sales guys

    This post is sponsored by Atlassian. Pando retains full editorial control over the content of sponsored posts. For the past few months, in our Dancing Giants series, we’ve been writing about something that most people in the startup world think is an oxymoron: innovative big companies. No doubt, plenty of tech companies have lost the ability to think long term and act quickly. But increasingly we are seeing stronger public companies in tech than ever before. They are fueled by outrageous…
  • battleship

    Dancing Giants: At SAP, it is about trying to make the battleship turn faster

    For Ken Tsai, the VP of Product Marketing for SAP’s HANA software, every day is constant balancing act. CEO Bill McDermott has declared is mission as spearheading “the intellectual renewal of their company.” HANA’s in-memory database computing system is viewed as the foundational building block for all of SAP’s products. Tsai then needs to open up processes of innovation that allow SAP to move with the pace of the times, while still harnessing the power (and limitations) of a company with a…
  • marc-shedroff-samsung

    Dancing Giants: Samsung’s Open Innovation Center

    You only need one stat to show why Samsung has been so innovative over the years: A full quarter of its global workforce works in research and development. Yet the company has been looking to in-house startups to promote new software products to work with its vast product line, which includes TVs, tablets, and cameras. Recently I caught up with the Vice-President of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, Marc Shedroff, to find out more about the ways Samsung wants to innovate like a startup. What exactly is Samsung’s Open…
  • mickey-and-the-beanstalk-giant

    How Corporations Can Innovate Like Startups

    The following is excerpted with permission from The Lean Enterprise: How Corporations Can Innovate Like Startups, by Trevor Owens and Obie Fernandez. Enterprises are in Peril.  The need for enterprises to innovate has never been more acute. Many established brands are on the ropes. American Airlines was valued at just $5.5 billion at the time it merged with US Airways in 2013. Kodak, a name synonymous with photography for more than a century, retreated into bankruptcy in 2012, with…
  • david-dewolfe-3pillar-by-Len-Spolden-photography

    Dancing Giants: Why large companies should embrace the minimum viable product

    There are lean startups, then there are startups that exist to help large and small companies act more like startups — like 3Pillar Global. Based in Fairfax, VA, the company sells software to help businesses create their own software and “quickly turn ideas into value” through the entire development development lifecycle. As such, its founder and CEO, David Dewolfe, is a big fan of the minimum viable product (MVP).

  • thomas-edison

    Dancing Giants: How GE uses the memory of Thomas Edison to stay hungry

    General Electric is 120 years old. As a company, it is tied into the invention of electricity itself. GE has over 300,000 employees and 2013 revenue that was greater than the GDP of New Zealand. It is the opposite of lean. It has no rights to even claim to be agile. But as Stephen Liguori, Executive Director of Global Innovation and New Models explains, a driving fixation  internally over the last decade has been how to meld GE’s overwhelming organizational heft with a sense…
  • hugh-mulotsi

    Dancing Giants: At Intuit, ideas for new products can come from anywhere

    If you were asked to compile a list of the most innovative corporations, it might not occur to you to include a tax, accounting, and finance software provider. But few companies have embraced the art of the startup within a large organization better than Intuit. The makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks have created a work environment that rewards employees for thinking and acting like entrepreneurs. What’s more, it has been tapping the collective wisdom of the crowd for insights and ideas that have led to new and successful…
  • Padmasree warrior, Cisco's Chief Technology Officer

    Dancing Giants: How Cisco Innovates

      Cisco has been called the backbone of the Internet for so long it feels like a trademarked slogan. But while much of its $49 billion in annual revenue still comes from its core business of switches and routers, the company has been busy in recent years finding new areas of business such as teleconferencing and cloud computing. Staying relevant in a fast-evolving and hyper-competitive technology industry is tough for a company with $120 billion in market value and three…
  • neopost

    Dancing Giants: How a huge postal goods manufacturer uses lean startup methodology to survive

    It’s hard to imagine a corporation more vulnerable to the ravages of Schumpter’s creative destruction than a manufacturer of postal meters and scales, mail sorters, and automated letter opening machines for businesses and post offices around the world. But that’s precisely what Neopost, a French corporation with 6,000 employees and a $2.76 billion market cap, confronts. A quasi-global duopoly competing with the twice-as-large Pitney Bowes, Neopost has been hit hard by declining mail volume, victimized by email and other…
  • steve-blank

    Dancing Giants: Startup guru Steve Blank bashes big companies that stack the deck

    Steve Blank is a kind of folk hero in startup circles. A successful entrepreneur, Blank, though his writings and Lean LaunchPad seminars at Stanford and online — more than 150,000 students have taken it — has become kind of a startup guru whose aim is to take the guesswork out of product development. Most companies don’t fail because they couldn’t attract a management team or gin up a product, he says. They fail because they didn’t create a product that will…
  • jb-brown

    Dancing Giants: Nordstrom’s Innovation Labs help a 113-year old department store chain to innovate on the fly

    Nordstrom is a 112-year old company. It began in an age where the radio was the cutting edge of communication. In its long lifespan, countless massive new business pressures have come into play, as great in scope as the widespread adoption of the automobile, car, telephone, and television, massive new urban developments, and the advent of the Internet and, with it, mobile shopping. Today, Nordsrom is the fifth-largest department store in the country with revenues last year of $8.6 billion. But it faces retail…
  • robot

    Dancing Giants: How a rusting giant can act more like a startup

    Trevor Owens, founder of Javelin (formerly Lean Startup Machine), has a bleak– but simple — prescription for big companies: Act more like a startup or enjoy a long slide into irrelevance and creative destruction. He’s a proponent of the lean startup methodology made famous by Eric Ries and Steve Blank, which employ rapid, data-driven experimentation to develop products the market really wants. While startups may groan at another mention of the lean startup methodology, it’s one of the better…
  • ballarinfp

    Dancing Giants: Can big companies still innovate?

    You hear it all the time. Big companies can’t innovate. It’s become a meme, conventional wisdom, accepted as fact. Massive corporations have massive bureaucracies. They’re sclerotic, afraid of cannibalizing core businesses, unable to adapt quickly to new markets or changes in markets they once owned. When is the last time you thought of HP, Dell, IBM, or Microsoft as cool? They were once behemoths — and in Microsoft and IBM’s cases, still are — but have all the…

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