How GE Appliances Built an Innovation Lab to Rapidly Prototype Products

Bharat Kapoor, Kevin Nolan Natarajan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan  for Harvard Business Review:  Many large companies yearn to rekindle the innovative magic of entrepreneurship, but very few actually succeed. The reasons have been well documented and include:

  • Large, established companies answer to investors who value predictable, consistent financial results, and so are intolerant of the risks inherent in bold innovation.
  • Career advancement in mature companies usually demands avoiding conspicuous failures, while entrepreneurs must fail repeatedly to get ahead.
  • Large companies serve mainstream customers, while innovative entrepreneurs first serve early adopters.

For these reasons and more, it is generally futile for large companies to ask: “How can we act like a fast, lean, risk-taking startup?” You can’t. Which means that it’s time for a new approach. Large traditional organizations now struggling to adapt to the fast-paced, risk-filled digital age would do well to consider FirstBuild, an experiment at GE Appliances that is showing real promise.

The FirstBuild Experiment

Midway through 2014, GE Appliances launched FirstBuild — a GE-equipped innovation lab and micro-factory — to augment the strengths of a long-established company with those of an entrepreneurial startup. Separation is the key. As a free-standing enterprise operating under its own brand, FirstBuild is decidedly not another attempt to transform a traditional company’s corporate culture.  Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Unitronics: Motion Control, We Make it Easy

Unitronics: Motion Control, We Make it Easy

Unitronics' new line of AC Servo Drives & Motors changes the traditional approach to motion control. They are simple to set up and painless to program. Unitronics Servos simplify implementation of motion applications while minimizing complexity and reducing development time. Some of the easy-to-use features in this new line include implementing motion control easily with ready-made motion code, embedded diagnostic tools, and automatic communication setup.