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How Can Enterprises Think Like Startups


How are startups different than enterprises? The answer is the progressive, lean, agile, and innovative operational mindset of the startups.

Small startup businesses are fast-paced and willing to adopt new and innovative ideas. Most fundamentally, they are intrinsically outcome-oriented and necessarily impactful.

In contrast, at a glance, when you think of an enterprise, hierarchy, legacy, structure, maturity, stability, revenue, or similar notions come to your mind subconsciously more often than not.

It is the year 2020, and we still differentiate large enterprises and startups in terms of revenue, capital, employee count, structure and infrastructure.

It is tough to recall the last time you came across an innovative as well as disruptive products and services offered by large enterprises. There are a few instances but not enough to make a substantial impact in terms of innovation.

A trend has established today, think like a startup and scale-like an enterprise. Large enterprises must sustain a startup mindset to stay innovative.

The question is if large enterprises can mimic the agility and responsiveness of a startup. If so, how? 

Here in this article, we emphasize fundamental lessons and guidelines for large enterprises on how they can also think like innovative and nimble startups.

Identify Problems and Convert them into Opportunities

The first thing you need to do is to determine what impact or consumer’s need would the product or the service fulfill. Focus on why the product should be developed instead of how to develop it.

As an enterprise, you can be providing a set of products and services, and it may not be viable to move on to something else just for the sake of grabbing an opportunity. After all, you cannot provide solutions to every problem.

Find the problem in your expertise, which you would otherwise ignore. Convert it into an opportunity. This is what entrepreneurs do and scale a startup into an enterprise.

Always challenge the conventional thought process. Question the reasons for its existence. Thrive on innate hunger to identify the world’s problems differently to gain a new perspective and find solutions. Find the right product-market mix.

Work on understanding the ever-changing market and consumer behavior. You can align technology as a solution to your problem to make things easy.

Create Culture of Incubating New Ideas

Startups follow trial and error—a lot, incubate new ideas, give it a shot, and iterate. From services to product development to sales and marketing, startups use failure to learn and come back strong with an improved outcome.

Large enterprises, on the other hand, take a safe path as opposed to the one which has greater potential reward but risk at the same time. Large enterprises are disciplined on not making mistakes, while startups run on the philosophy fail and conquer.

As an enterprise, you should allow your employees enough space to be creative and come up with innovative ideas. For this, you will need to enable them to fail safely. 

While you set a culture of incubating new ideas, also make sure that your employees are learning from their failures and using it for the bigger picture.

Work with Startups

One of the best ways to think like a startup is to work with one. An enterprise is capable enough to acquire a startup, or you can partner with one.

Working with startups can help you adapt to their culture. This culture will help you stay relevant in the market, creative, flexible, and innovative. 

Startups work in a tighter timeline, follow innovation velocity, and save money. This way, large enterprises can learn startup methodologies and allow applications to their operational model.  

Shift to Customer-Centric from Company Centric Approach

Even if you are a large enterprise, make sure you establish a culture to focus on the customer-centric approach. Go through statistical data, customer service, and complaint surveys to layout a qualitative change to your operations, products, and services.

Prioritize the feedbacks, customer problems, and opinions and look at the bigger picture of serving various specific consumer problems and use these data also to launch new products and services.

Never lose touch with your customers. Relentless analysis of the market research and customer data is what enables you to focus on what changes are needed, what works, and whatnot.

Pravesh Mishra

Pravesh Mishra is a Digital Transformation Consultant at Leapfrog Technology. He helps businesses and enterprises with Digital Transformation.

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