Big-Time Companies Already on to This

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-04-14 Print this article Print


Big-Time Companies Already on to This

Dell, which last week bought three companies before Michael Dell had lunch, realizes this. So does Google, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems. Not to mention IBM, Oracle, EMC, Microsoft and any other big-time IT company you can name.

In fact, the executive chairman of HP said the other day that the company intends to trim the $3 billion budget of venerable and respected HP Labs and start looking more closely at startups and individual innovators for new product ideas. He didn't say this next part specifically, but he implied that by acquiring new companies, products now can be brought to market faster and less expensively.

This whole line of thinking may have been a slap in the face to the managing director of HP Labs, Senior Vice President Prith Banerjee, whose abrupt resignation earlier this month appears to have given witness to this amended strategy.

Back to Facebook. Up to now, the company has done most of its own development, but now its appears to have shifted into innovation overdrive, knowing that Google dearly wants a piece of the social networking action and will stop at nothing to get Google+ more subscribers and media attention. Facebook wants no part of Google moving in on its territory, just as Google wants no part of Facebook moving deeper into search.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a Big Picture kind of guy, has done what he has always done: He's looked ahead and sees the reality of the future. He knows that even with hundreds of very smart software developers on his staff, ideas simply don't come from folks who sit down at a table and say, "Well, okay, now it's time to come up with something good, or Mark's gonna get upset with us."

Innovation Comes When It Comes

Innovation comes when people dream, interact, talk, test, experiment, fail, succeed, interact again, test again and so on. And this doesn't generally happen on deadline, although deadlines can be great motivators. Innovators don't have to be sitting next to each other, although physical closeness helps a lot. These ideas can emanate from an open-source SIG, an industry task group, a group of like-minded friends, or even one guy lost in thought over in the corner.

One never knows from where those new ideas will come. That is why when Zuckerberg and Co. saw Instagram and TagTile, they saw good ideas, and they moved.

Of course, having a $5 billion line of credit helps such moves to be made a lot quicker.

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of eWEEK Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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