Rita Ogbogu Ngozi
In today’s competitive quest for business growth, the phrase ‘Innovate or Cease to exist’ has been the driving force for most technical companies. Innovation could be viewed as a new way of doing things that is ultimately valued and appreciated by all, with respect to new business process and models. Innovation helps to engage more people and bring more goods and services to the market. Innovation provides scalable opportunities to promote profitable business models.
Innovation Strategies in the Silicon Valley
Access to Funding
One of the major features in Silicon Valley is the access to funding from Venture Capitalists. A number of start-ups move to the Silicon Valley to tap into the opportunities provided by Venture Capitalists. For many of these contributors, who through sprinkling funds among-st the most promising startups help them to make the pilgrimage to set up shops in the Valley. Also, many Silicon Valley companies promote opportunities for people to connect internally. As a result, a number of companies today, started as start-ups and have successfully gone through the necessary stages from incubation to where they are today. Such opportunities are rare to find outside of Silicon Valley.
The Cluster Effect
The presence of interconnected technological companies make it easier for them to share infrastructure, suppliers, and distribution networks. Nothing sparks innovation like having your competitor across the street. The presence of related firms and industries bring about the existence of pooled market for specialized workers, provision of specialized input from suppliers and service providers, and also the rapid flow of business related knowledge among firms. Hence, they gain advantage over external rivals because of the opportunity to discover new and better ways to compete, and bring new ideas (products & services) to the market.
Silicon Valley gives the opportunity to compete while collaborating. The strong sense of collaboration and the willingness of people to help each other is very much impressive. Constant creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has led to fresh insights to their engineering groups. Also, their transparency, wall-less office space, sprinkled with high-tech toys, and brainstorming tools that help to encourage a new level of communication and collaboration. It's also a common practice in the Valley for tech firms to hold "hack days" and even "hack weeks" where the entire company drops the distractions--no meetings, no conflicting priorities--and hunkers down en masse to tackle ideas and translate them into reality.
Customer Centered Product Development
As part of their innovation strategy, companies within the Valley develop models that is based on co-creating with their customers. This is done by researching customers’ needs and then creating products to satisfy such needs. It is the quality of customer experience that creates the differentiation. External engagement with partners/customers help to solve deep technical issues in product creation. Co-creating with the customers helps to narrow it down to what customers want.
The Silicon Valley culture focuses on specific behaviors associated with free spirited thinking and action. It is so amazing how companies in the Valley value an innovative atmosphere and try to promote it by motivating their teams to go the extra mile. For example, Facebook promotes a culture that say: "Move Fast, Break things and then fix it." This experience is used as a learning opportunity and used to generate new ideas. Hence, ideas are nurtured in their infancy rather than wait until they are fully baked. This helps to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. Innovation grows from risk.