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In this episode Nataraj spoke to Taylor Black who co-founded Fizzy Inc. Post Fizzy Taylor worked at Innovation Science Fund & currently works as a Principal Product Manager at the Office of the CTO Incubator at Microsoft.
[00:00:00] Nataraj: To me it always made sense for large
companies to have some kind of incubator or accelerator model because one of
the reasons I think we are seeing in this bear cycle, sort of like when the
wave sort of, you know, falls down, you see who’s naked scenario.
[00:00:17] Nataraj: Um, I think any company which
survives multi decades has to have multiple large businesses. Mm-hmm. . I think
in a lot of ways, I mean, looking back, a lot of companies didn’t, uh, look for
long-term opportunities as much as they should. Like we can talk about like,
uh, Amazon, you know, putting billion dollars into their phone, but I would
argue the potential on the upside of suckers was so high they should have put
in, you know, one more billion and tried the next version.
[00:00:50] Nataraj: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , uh, and I. , like
argue the same with Facebook in a sense. Like now they’re doing this metaverse
thing. [00:01:00] Um, and sort of again
retreating that back now. But I feel like even Facebook with all its cash flow,
uh, didn’t really think, um, because they always self constrained themselves to
be a social company.
[00:01:14] Nataraj: Um, like I think that’s sort of like
a self-imposed mental model on themselves. Mm-hmm. , like, uh, I would not
impose themselves like a social company. Yeah. You work good at Facebook and
WhatsApp, but I mean, look at how many great technologies that came out from
Facebook, open source community and like putting that social as a blanket on
[00:01:34] Nataraj: I think. Set a backstage for all
these technologies, which could be, you know, productionized and, you know,
capitalized. Mm-hmm. . Right. Uh, that’s, I feel like a lot of companies,
especially the large companies, are with very good cash flow sort of mixed out
on business opportunities because of that reason.
[00:01:50] Nataraj: That’s my personal view on like, , a
lot of companies could have it if it is well run. Mm-hmm. . Um, and should have
it because of this reason. Right? Mm-hmm. , it’s sort of [00:02:00] like you are the innovation dilemma that
you’ll encounter at some point as a large company, and you have to have a sort
of a backup backstopping mechanism to that innovation dilemma, which every
company will eventually face.
[00:02:12] Nataraj: Mm-hmm. , um, So I feel like the
innovation, uh, accelerator or the incubator would sort of act as that, uh, you
know, that part of small investment, it’s sort of like an insurance to the, uh,
to innovation dyna that you would eventually encounter anyways, uh,
[00:02:28] Taylor: , I think you’re right.
[00:02:28] Taylor: There’s a, there’s an inherent problem
there too, though, is that, um, uh, innovation is inherently a yo low yield. .
Um, and so within, and it’s my kind of rule of thumb, that within two or three
years of any program like ours existence, um, finance is gonna come and say,
where’s the revenue? Where’s the roi? And if you don’t have a data driven way
of showing your, your anticipated revenue, your anticipated ROI on the basis of
your activities, then uh, [00:03:00] it’s entirely
legitimate that you get.
[00:03:02] Taylor: There’s a, there’s a, there’s data
driven ways of showing that the whole venture ecosystem depends on the fact
that you’re able to show future revenue on the basis of what you’re doing now.
Uh, that’s how you raise funds, right? Um, and so every, uh, innovation program
inside an enterprise has to have that same data-driven hygiene.
For full conversation check out Episode 53.
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