Feeds

Enterprise whales leave R&D to the startup minnows

Until you hit on something tasty - then we'll eat you up

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Storagebod Why are the small flash vendors innovating while the big boys don't bother? Why are they leaving them for dust? More to the point, do the big firms 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 per cent time has probably not borne 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 coming up with a new product.

Even when a new concept threatens to produce a new product, try getting an existing sales force to sell a new product…well, why would they? Why would I ask 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 startups 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 they have 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 startups? 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 make an initial public offering is cool but it’s rarely the end of the story. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.