We are living in an unprecedented time — a time that allows anyone to start a company with little more than an internet connection and a computer.  At this moment, we are also living in an era of change that requires continuous pivoting and rapid scaling to achieve success. This requires companies both new and old to continue to innovate, but the tricky part is…how? And how to do it fast and right?


In our lifetime, technology has advanced at an extraordinary rate. Research by Boston Consulting Group illustrates the time it’s taken for each one of the following inventions to reach 100 million users:

  • Telephone: 75 years
  • Web: 7 years
  • Facebook: 4 years
  • Instagram: 2 years

The global professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) asked more than 1,000 individuals working in big companies how they felt about work today. Only three out of ten respondents agreed their organization had a startup mindset. 


Startup Mindset: Hire great people into your team that fit the culture you wish to craft but that are also better at something than anyone else on your team. Turn them free to contribute and get out of their way. Always look to add just enough value for your customer when building your business. Be willing to identify inefficiencies in your business and seek to solve them. Destroy the status quo…never be unwilling to change while always seeking to be better!


7 Core startup philosophies that entrepreneurs use to break the mold

  1. Love what you do and you’ll do great work
  2. Curiosity
  3. Focus on Possibilities
  4. Disregard the status quo
  5. Fail fast and pivot
  6. Conquer Fear
  7. Speed

Organizational Barriers and Internal Structures

Fear is the enemy of innovation: fear of judgment, fear of internal politics, fear of failure, and vulnerability can prevent the best of us from taking risks. To think and act like a startup, you must incentivize risk-taking and experimentation and think about how things are built from the inside to foster new ideas and rapid innovation. 

According to Safi Bahcall, author of Loonshots, attempts to shift a firm’s culture might only affect surface-level change; adjusting its
structure is much more practical and can be as simple as redesigning incentive systems. These drive patterns of behavior that ultimately make up a firm’s culture. When structures are designed to encourage risk in innovation, firms can finally take advantage of what Bahcall terms “loonshots”: seemingly crazy ideas that are easily dismissed, but have great potential to change everything for the better.

    “Fixing culture is very difficult. It’s like pushing a battleship. Adjusting structure, it’s like turning the rudder. It’s much easier.” Safi Bahcall


    Bahcall suggests that culture by itself only leads to “best place to work lists” and doesn’t lead to the enduring value that a company should build to be a thriving enterprise that can both innovate and build projects that inspire as a result. For that, a leader needs to build the right structure: processes, systems, and incentives.


    Innovation Needs Protection

    Many enterprise companies are learning that today’s competitive environment requires them to change internal structures that allow for them to create a startup mentality — by building a startup within their massive organizations. Sometimes this occurs from an acquisition like Walmart Labs. Labs was started in 2011 from the acquisition of Kosmix. Over nine years, Walmart Labs evolved to help Walmart regain traction lost to Amazon’s growth, speed and innovations in ecommerce with one-click, two-day shopping and opening their e-commerce platform to 3rd party vendors. 

    Inventive recently worked with a Fortune 500 global automotive insurance company to help design and build their mobile app experience. We launched their MVP with an ultimate concept in sight — and a full, detailed roadmap to implement additional features in a timed rollout over several phases. 

    One of the reasons this global automotive insurance company is so successful is that they run a startup incubator within their global company. Their incubator allows for technology assessments of what’s new now and continuous examination of ways to modernize and innovate to develop new services for their clients and partners to be “always on” with their clients, providing valuable offerings that strengthen their business and business relationships.


    Inventive is working with them to help accelerate their vision, complete with technical advisory and mobile application expertise, to meet their ambitious business goals.

    At times, to get ideas moving and off the ground, external teams are needed to help with mastery, speed, and additional people to move quickly.


    Think Like A Startup

    A startup mindset and organizational structures give enterprise companies advantages in this complex and changing new world. It provides the adaptation companies need to move quickly, and grab opportunities faster than larger, sleepier competitors. While big companies are busy protecting their golden “one idea” business, your team will be ready to invent the future.

    Learn more about Inventive and how we can help your team now.