"VC Whisperer, what can big companies do to grow sales? Where can they find growth?"I saw this article on the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. It discusses how IBM was looking to startups to fuel sales growth:
IBM Banks On Small Start-Ups For Big Growth
The reality is that this is IBM paying lip service to the startup community, and getting some good press. There is very little entrepreneurial that goes on at a company like IBM (or any other big company - not meaning to single out IBM). However, I think the idea is a good one. Big companies (like IBM) need to not only look at startups as potential growth engines, but rely on startups to fuel future growth. Many of these big companies have stagnated, and only with fresh ideas will they be able to find new revenue.
It's a major shift in thinking and a major shift in behavior that's required. Big companies need to partner with more startups. Big companies need to acquire more startups. Big companies need to allow more of their employees and business units to be entrepreneurial and operate outside of standard processes. Only by doing all of these things will they avoid the inevitability of stagnating revenues that plagues so many corporate giants.