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You Will be Assimilated.

So why are the small Flash vendors innovating and the big boys not? Why are they leaving them for dust? And do the big boys care?

Innovation in large companies is very hard; you have all the weight of history pressing down on you and few large companies are set-up to allow their staff to really innovate. Even Google’s famous 20% time has probably not born the fruit that one would expect.

Yet innovation does happen in large companies; they all spend a fortune on R&D; unfortunately most of that tends to be making existing products better rather than come up with a new product.

Even when a new concept threatens to produce a new product; getting an existing sales-force to sell a new product…well, why would they? Why would I as a big-tin sales-droid try and push a new concept to my existing customer base? They probably don’t even want to talk about something new; it’s all about the incremental business.

I have seen plenty of concepts squashed which then pop up in new start-ups having totally failed to gain traction in the large company.

And then there are those genuinely new ideas that the large vendor has a go at implementing themselves; often with no intention of releasing their own product, they are just testing the validity of the concept.

Of course, then there is the angel funding that many larger vendors quietly carry out; if you follow the money it is not uncommon to find a large name sitting somewhere in the background.

So do the big boys really care about the innovation being driven by start-ups…I really don’t think so. Get someone else to take the risk and pick-up the ones which succeed at a later date.

Acquisition is a perfectly valid R&D and Innovation strategy. Once these smaller players start really taking chunks of revenue from the big boys…well, it’s a founder with real principles who won’t take a large exit.

Of course, seeing new companies IPO is cool but it’s rarely the end of the story.



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