A year ago I launched my book, Collective Disruption: How Corporations and Startups Can Co-create Transformative New Businesses. Today, I’m excited to announce that the book is now available in paperback (in addition to the existing hardcover and Kindle versions).
I’d like to take you back to when I was first introduced to innovating with outside partners, which began a 10+ journey for me in open innovation and now collective disruption. It’s these experiences that ultimately led to writing this book and to helping large companies learn to co-create with startups and entrepreneurs.
When I joined Sunbeam Corporation as VP of product development, the company was in shock and in crisis. Reeling from the effects of its brutal ex-CEO (the infamous “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap) and mired in bankruptcy, Sunbeam needed to rebuild its ability to innovate. Quickly.
As part of the turnaround team, we set about restoring the process of collaboration internally. But, clearly, that would not be enough. For a company in bankruptcy, we had no choice but to learn how to leverage outside experts in areas such as product development. We didn’t call it open innovation, but that’s what it was. We partnered with suppliers, inventors, and outside companies like never before. We went from launching 10 new products in the first year to more than 150 by the end of the second. And you know what? Working with these creative partners actually made us more creative thinkers inside the company. Our management team navigated Sunbeam through a Chapter 11 reorganization, rebuilt the business, and returned it to profitability. A few years later, Jarden Corporation acquired the business. Now, Newell has acquired the business, so the next chapter of the story is just beginning. Hopefully it will still continue to be a positive one.
Sunbeam was my introduction to open innovation. The experience took me in a new direction in my work and helped inform the business evolution I’ve championed in my ventures and with my clients. I’ve spent 10+ years leading Venture2 and working with large companies and startups in open innovation—connecting, collaborating, and commercializing innovations. I’ve also run venture-funded startups and worked for a venture capital firm investing in open innovation platforms during this period. I’ve experienced open innovation from many perspectives. Open innovation to support the core business is important, but it isn’t enough.
The old definition of innovation is dead. The process that companies used to follow of innovating a new product or a new iteration on an existing brand is just what it takes to stay alive these days. In this highly connected world, new ideas are coming from everywhere, with emerging competitors disrupting established companies every day. Companies need to increasingly focus on new business creation for step-change growth. It’s scary because transformative innovation is not what most big companies are good at. My book addresses that soft spot in the big-company skill set. I’m teaching the art of collaboration for new business creation.
Companies must learn to play the disruption game and use it to continually reinvent themselves. The time has come to challenge the paradigm that the startups are always the ones that disrupt large, established companies. Through the collective disruption model, you can engage and leverage the entrepreneurial ecosystem to co-create new market-disrupting businesses.
Collective disruption combines the best of big brands and startup nation.
I’m addressing the type of innovation that can redefine companies and industries and is about helping to transform companies by creating whole new businesses or growth platforms. Transformative innovation by my definition is therefore not sustaining or core business innovation aimed at maintaining today’s business.
I’ve also had the rewarding opportunity of being an entrepreneur, founding a venture-funded startup, and then becoming president of an early-stage venture capital firm. So if you’re an entrepreneur or startup founder, I hope to provide insights for you as well. While I speak mostly to the corporate leader in this book, entrepreneurs can gain answers on how to partner with corporations in new ways and how they can leverage corporate partners to reverse engineer their businesses for faster scale-up and exit.
This book introduces the concept of the innovation ecosystem, its presence, its power, and the ways in which companies of all sizes can become connected in order to meet the demands of the new innovation imperative. In the book I address:
- Why big companies are being left behind in the new hyper-fast innovation game
- How an innovation ecosystem can help companies create not just new products but also entirely new lines of business
- How the entrepreneurial skills of lean startups can (and can’t) be applied in the corporate environment
- How a co-innovation strategy – with entrepreneurs and corporations – yields new business creation faster and at a lower risk
- New approaches to business incubation that leverage the best of entrepreneurial and corporate skills in prove-out and scale-up
- What skills are needed to manage this co-creation process for the profitability and success of all involved
In Collective Disruption I show how the smartest large companies are learning to partner with startups for disruptive new business creation. It’s a practical framework for larger companies to learn how to plug into the startup ecosystem to co-create, fuel and incubate new market disrupting businesses as entrepreneurial ventures. You can learn more about the book here.
Offering the book in paperback gives me an opportunity to relaunch it and reach a bigger and broader audience. To celebrate my team and I have put together great bonus packages for individual and bulk orders. These offerings are intended to make it an easy YES for you to buy several copies for your leadership team, department, or even your customers and strategic partners. You can find all the details here. It’s worth a look.
Thanks to all of you who were a big part of the book’s success when it first launched last year. If you’ve already read the book, great! Check out the bonus packages anyway and consider buying a few for your team and business partners. The bonuses are worth it. If you haven’t yet read the book, then now’s the time to dive in and grab your copy (or more) and take advantage of the bonus offers. Find all the details here.