The Startup Genome Project

It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the Startup Genome Project, which has analysed over 3200 startups to trace patterns exhibited by failed ventures and environments that promote innovation. Started by a group of youngsters from Stanford University (one of them took a bunch of entrepreneurial engineering classes, then dropped out) and representatives from Blackbox, a seed accelerator for tech startups, they’ve also developed the Startup Genome Compass which allows founders to benchmark their companies against others.

Their latest post has some pointers for large companies that I find particularly interesting; they explainwhy innovation is harder there:

Large companies tend to inhibit pivoting for their “internal startups”.

Large companies tend to project learnings from their main business on their innovation initiatives, which leads to mistakes.

Large companies tend to pressure their “internal startups” to scale prematurely.

Large companies tend to jump to execution after their initial market research and miss out on two import stages: Discovery and Validation.

Large companies tend to focus on revenue instead of the key value proposition they want to provide with a new product or service. The result is typically mediocre value propositions.

If you’re interested in the entire report, you can download it here.

As Steve Blank says, the methodology may be a bit shaky but this is a landmark study nevertheless.


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