Innovative Unicorns in the Silicon Valley

When I began to compose this article, I thought I was creating another business trip article that would be useful for you as readers. Little did I know it would become a mirror of my thoughts, self-capabilities, process understanding and point of view of worldwide trends.  

I’ve said from the beginning that this Silicon Valley visit was a business trip of a lifetime, and it has proven to be just that. I’ve met 15 companies, including Payoneer, Apple, Youtube, Yelp, SurveyMonkey, Netflix, Facebook, IDEO, Salesforce and more. I’ve spoken with them about their vision, market strategies, innovation development processes and intrapreneurial capacities. What I found was quite compelling.  

Over the last two years, I’ve specialized in intrapreneurial ecosystem growth, organizational innovation processes and innovation development towards ROI impact. One of the most important things I realized during my meetings in Silicon Valley was the size and strength of the innovation bubble within entities, whether they were governmental institutions, multinational corporations, growing organizations, or small startup companies: all of them want to innovate. They all invest a huge amount of resources in order to innovate, though just a few of them succeed.  

As many of us who work in this field know, a lot of multinational corporations work with the known I-I process (Ideation-Implementation). The companies create a specific ideation event such as all the famous Hackathons and fill their pipeline with ideas that become projects with a large execution budget.  

Every company has his own regulative process, for example:  

Uber – Every year the company assembles dozens of programs and invests millions of dollars into various resources, such as human capital and R&D, in order to create the next product that will lead the company to the future. In addition, once a year Travis Kalanick known as TK produces a hackathon event and chooses a specific project that will continue working and get funded with hundreds of millions of dollars. I do want to emphasize that this method has its own benefits but not every product, organizational structure and organizational budget is suited to work with this model.  

Another stunning example is AlphaBet. Google (x), is one of the most innovative companies in the world, but how they do it? Google (x) is aimed to solve sustainable and environmental global challenges. From the 300 employees, just a small group of 15 Ph.D.’s comprise the ideation process. This group goes through a structured investment gates process. After the ideation stage, the ideator of the highest potential project has to find an academic research that validates their hypothesis and assumptions – then Google (x) buys the IP and the relevant talent to compose a team that can execute the project. They currently have 30 projects funded but most of them are not reaching the real market or impacting the company ROI. This shows two critical facts – first, the company has huge amounts of money to invest in long-term innovation projects and second the company ROI growth is not an immediate KPI.  

These meetings and the feedback I received have demonstrated to me the importance of the DUCO perspective. How important it is that we speak not just about the fertilization of ideas but also about- the intrapreneurial mindset within the employees, the importance of build the right platform and ecosystem in order to allow a scalable intrapreneurial process that will enable internal ventures to grow and not to rely on luck, stabilize into a structured pipeline. In our methodology, DUCO has taken essential methods from the startup entrepreneurial ecosystem and implemented them within the organizations that we work with.  

Today I can definitely announce that with DUCO – organizations speak not just about innovation (as a buzzword) but about the intrapreneurship process, innovative culture, smart investments and a short-term impact ROI.