« Executive Conversion | Main | Hybrid boat »

May 02, 2007


Oded Roth

Hindsight may be found in Clayton M. Christensen’s book: “The Innovator's Dilemma.”

The Wright brothers are the classic example of small entrepreneurs who beat the large corporation engineers. The way to fly high might start at bicycle mechanics.


Ori Matalon

Peter Drucker discusses this issue in his book "Innovation and Entrepreneurship"; he says that there are seven sources for innovation:

1. An unexpected event in the market – great success or failure of a product /service.
2. Incongruity.
3. Process need.
4. Changes in industry structure or market structure.
5. Demographics (population change).
6. Changes in perception, mood and meaning.
7. New knowledge.
(You can read more on: http://www.amazon.com/Innovation-Entrepreneurship-Peter-F-Drucker/dp/0887306187 )



Hello Shai:(This is paraphrased from an email I sent you a week or so ago. Seems to synch with today’s WSJ story?)

A response to your “retro virus” story.

SAP was slower to the internet/ CRM/ portals trend during the late 90s, as I recall. The key, at that time was imbuing the firm with a dose of innovation (but not transforming completely). Hence your hire as the outsider for an infusion of innovation and the establishment of SAP Labs (?) as a loosely-coupled entity (right?).

But, my sense is that there were two adjustments that made this work - one on your
part and the other on SAP’s behalf.

On SAP’s side, would you agree that rather than require you to buy into their approach
and culture to get you acculturated, SAP allowed you to pollinate the environment
with the outsider’s approach and new ideas. In other words, SAP’s accommodation
was to allow you to keep you identity rather than homogenize.

On your part, I suspect the accommodation was - that you bought into the business
and strategic zeitgeist of the large corporation. That is, while keeping your innovative zeal, you understood that this was not about transforming SAP but to continue to sustain and leverage things that had made SAP what is was - while innovating in certain localized domains.

These mutual accommodations seem to have been at the core of the marriage that lasted
this long.

And perhaps one or both of these things were starting to break in recent times…..?

Padmanabha Rao

Isn't the trend nowadays to remarry one's divorced spouse?

There's an idea Shai.

Shai Agassi

I am trying hard not to get into the debate (and harder not to start laughing at this comment). There is no "Steve Jobs" in this one...

Padmanabha Rao

The Jobian model is outmoded; it's too long winding and slow :-D

I was thinking of the Andre Agassi model actually!

The comments to this entry are closed.