We recently spoke with Matt Greeley, CEO of Brightidea a 16 year old “start-up” that has been leading the charge in solving an important problem for many global F500 companies, that of innovating in a scalable and repeatable way. While that may not seem like a tough problem for many of us in StartupLandia where innovation is the norm, for bigger companies leveraging new technologies and navigating the many ways to innovate is a huge challenge but one that is critical to survival.
It was not that long ago companies experienced the longevity of markets represented through an average time spent on the S&P 500 of more than 50 years today that number has shrunk down to the teens.
What does that mean in terms of survival? It means big companies especially need to be bold and courageous in the initiatives they pursue or face disruption. They need to take on harder problems, harder than they ever have before because of the exponential rate of change faced in terms of technical advances... ideas once thought too big to tackle soon become not quite that big - just think of Elon Musk’s pursuits and his goal of being able to transport people to Mars and colonize it. The key is to think bigger, much bigger.
Brightidea is helping companies “think bigger” by providing a software solution that is flexible enough to not only support the many flavors in which innovation comes such as hackathons , open innovation, leveraging design thinking and more, but is also able to support a variety of verticals where product innovation timelines can vary greatly. Just think of the difference in time to market for Pharmaceuticals vs. Technology, where launching new products can take as much as a decade vs. a couple of years. Brightidea’s technology is built upon a flexible architecture that meets the diverse and custom needs of verticals and use cases through an innovation workflow with social crowd engine on the front that tracks not only ideas and their evolution to outcomes but also profit at net returns from new innovations.
Certainly to be helping support innovation efforts for F100 brands, a company needs to be innovative itself and Brightidea “drinks its own champagne” by leveraging its software platform to listen to customers and take product suggestions. Innovation is embedded into its culture where the team is constantly pushing boundaries in search of the best ideas and always reminding itself of the adjacent possible . An old typewriter sits in the front of BrightIdea headquarters to show that “sometimes you have to look backwards to see forwards” and in the case of the typewriter it shows how continuous and incremental product innovation led us to arrive at the place we are today… from mixed characters to qwerty keyboard to visible type to backspaces to word-processing and now the modern computer - the steps built upon each other to arrive at modern day.
Beyond powering innovation for companies in the 21st century, Brightidea’s impact goes deep with companies that are actually working to find cures for cancer and making cars safer, in other words - innovation IS making the world a better place.