Understanding the Nuances of Intrapreneurship vs. Entrepreneurship When Bringing Digital Products to Market in Large Corporations

Failing fast isn’t easy for intrapreneurs.

As a startup, failure (or pivots) can be done without long-term damage, but for established companies, there’s a lot to lose.

Takeaways:

  • Fail in small ways, with specific, forgiving customer segments. Test your innovative digital product initiatives not just with a target market but a subsection of that market which will provide valuable feedback and become advocates. In this way, you can use your market knowledge to your advantage by being able to accurately identify these target customers.
  • Define and socialize the risks of failure early on. Often, failure is simply misunderstood at large corporations. When a product doesn’t generate revenue, it is viewed as a sunk cost. But if you follow lean methodology, you will discover non-revenue metrics to use and then socialize them with leadership. No false promises!

Corporations have a brand to protect, not a brand to build.

Takeaway:

  • Use new digital products to create opportunities for ways your customers engage with your brand. The mobile alarm app could have enhanced the experience in using the alarm system but instead felt forced and was ultimately abandoned.

Use new digital products to create opportunities for ways your customers engage with your brand.

Connecting with customers has unique challenges.

Takeaways:

  • For innovations with existing customer bases, coordinate efforts with groups already working with customers — either through customer service, sales or outbound marketing. Not only will new initiatives need to be coordinated with these groups, but they often hold a vast amount of customer opportunity waiting to be tapped for hidden digital product opportunities.
  • For new markets, be prepared to go slow and plan green-field research before diving into any new product initiative. The old adage, “what got you here won’t get you there” applies when creating product innovations for new markets and well-planned research is the key.

Innovation doesn’t always need to be home-grown.

Takeaway:

  • When starting digital innovation initiatives, intrapreneurs should also look for outside possibilities. If a large research and strategy effort leads to an acquisition, that’s certainly worth the downside of wasting months and triple the resources to embark on something you aren’t internally structured to achieve.

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Christian Beck

Christian Beck

8.1K Followers

By day, executive designer at Innovatemap where I help tech companies design marketable products. By night, co-founder of UX Power Tools.