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November 20, 2008


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Don McClure

Perhaps we can learn from technology start-ups especially internal "business incubators" where large companies allow small groups to break the standard rules so as to encourage new ideas/products. Most successful incubations share a strong champion (the person who will do almost anything to make the idea happen) and a strong sponsor (who has the authority to protect the champion and (some of) the resources (people, dollars, equipment, etc) to enable the effort to get a fair start.

It should also be noted that it is rare for the champion to be successful in start-up and continue in the "maintenance" mode after "success" has beed achieved. The attitudes and apptitudes needed are seldom the same. So if we think of the champion(s) as the one(s) who give birth to the infant, they need to remember that the goal is to train the child to be independent. Not being able to cut the apron strings is often a major failure more for start-ups.

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