Avoiding Innovation Theater

On this episode of Behind the Product, Ryan Larcom of High Alpha Innovation joins us to discuss innovation through startup creation. After beginning his career in industrial and automotive product development, Ryan became frustrated with the lack of customer voice in the design process. So, he moved into the tech world with a focus on building products people love.

Ryan believes that one of the best ways for large corporations to innovate is through partnering with, or, better yet, building startups because of the learning opportunities they afford. Ryan shares how High Alpha Innovation helps established organizations do just that – create startups. They don’t have a secret formula for this complex process. Instead, they have a high-level roadmap they adapt to the contexts of their customers, a toolbox to pull from, and an always-learning mindset.

We dive into the lessons Ryan has learned from years of building startups. Ryan explains how to avoid “innovation theater,” and instead create real value. We discuss what keeps large corporations from innovating, the importance of identifying a startup “sweet spot” as a large corporation, startup staffing strategy, and measuring success based on learning milestones.

We wrap up our conversation with Ryan’s bullish perspective on the Indy tech scene, overlooked opportunities in the Midwest, and how the pandemic has shifted our perspective on launching and running businesses.

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