Osmotic Innovation is Linking You Up

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What’s your road to innovation look like?

Innovation through acquisition

Often the news of a large corporation buying out a start up is met with cynical press that somehow infers the act is driven by an inherent lack of imagination on the part of the corporate buyer.  But what if the approach is simply a rational response to the costs of innovating and the benefits of a large balance sheet?  James Price argues the case in a recent Business Insider article citing examples form many different industries.  When looking at your innovation portfolio do you spend enough time considering acquisitions?

Sam, I’ve Got a Feeling We Aren’t in Arkansas Anymore

Walmart has created an innovation lab in San Bruno, California. That’s exactly 1,849 miles from Bentonville. technology review details what makes this lab different and what Walmart hopes to achieve in acquiring a tech start-up and creating the innovation lab. One point that deserves quote here: “Subramaniam credits Walmart for maintaining the startup culture after the acquisition.” If Walmart, notoriously cost, culture, and supply chain focused, can do this what’s stopping your company?

 Mothers of Innovation: Contests and regulations?

Innovation isn’t just a business need, it’s necessary for efficient governance as well.  Thomas Friedman discusses two government initiatives that use limited funds and regulatory power to stimulate innovation.  When schools compete for limited funds in “Race to the Top,” schools submit improvement plans in search of funding awards.  Even those that lose, he argues, often implement their plans without additional funding.  On the regulation side, a rise of fuel efficiency standards means companies invest in innovative technology without the fear of falling behind the profitability of competitors.


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