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

Get RFQs on Die Casting, Stamping, and Extrusion With Xometry, Your Source for Custom Parts

Get RFQs on Die Casting, Stamping, and Extrusion With Xometry, Your Source for Custom Parts

Xometry is your source for custom parts. Now, in addition to getting instant quotes on 3D Printing, CNC Machining, Sheet Metal, and Injection Molding, customers can create and send RFQs for die casting, stamping, and extrusion work to our nationwide network of pre-vetted manufacturers with just a 2D drawing. You will receive and be able to review responses from qualified shops within 7 days on an advanced web-based RFQ management platform. To learn more go directly to our site to issue and RFQ today. Stop wasting time managing RFQs through email and by phone, and start issuing RFQs at scale and in the cloud.