Many large organizations are now looking at how they can generate new growth by launching new adjacent startups or business units. Skunkworks teams, corp incubators, and product development agencies are buzzing — trying to disrupt themselves before being disrupted.
However, all startups are not born equal nor have the same objectives.
At prehype, we built startups with big companies. While not very public, we are one of the most active ’startup-as-a-service’ firms across US and Europe having worked on startups for companies ranging from NewsCorp over LEGO and Royal Bank Of Scotland to Verizon and Danone. We are also building our own startups, you might know of BarkBox, ManagedByQ orAmberJack. What we are learning is that while we use many of the same methods, building with a big company as a partner makes the startup different. We call them Fat Startups. (teaser, more on this is in a blog post soon)
There are in general many embedded dynamics that make these ventures unlike what you might see amongst more traditional startups. Here are a four tips on areas to consider if you are building a startup associated with a big company:
Finally, get going! Venture creation is risky and filled with mostly unknowns. In a corporate environment, those are traits that nobody enjoys. However, if you are the one tasked with innovation you should take responsibility for getting started. Doing nothing is worse than doing something wrong.