Here is an interesting read about what Xerox PARC was really "worth". I often have the feeling that large corporations don't see the value in real invention anymore, but are only on the lookout for "innovative companies" to buy and squeeze out. Which may work for a short term to raise revenue and profit, and thus the share price - until this company has been assimilated, talent has drained to other companies, and a new one needs to be bought.

Will this work in the long term? Maybe. The company will loose its "heart", becoming a financial-driven company, with a turnover of new companies each year. It might even be a profitable business model, as some companies on the market show. Is it sustainable to achieve ever-rising market expectations? I don't know.

Is this a good place to work? I don't think so. As an employee you don't feel valued, as innovation - read: a product or business model that has at least started to show some profit on the market - is only seen outside, as an opportunity for a take over, and no one has the guts to invest in innovation - not even to speak of invention - within the company. It might fail, costing money only...

The linked article shows with how little money compared to company take-overs in that time Xerox PARC was able to invent at great scale, and how it still influences our everyday live with these inventions.

However, there is one caveat: you have to allow for failure! Funding a research lab and demanding a 100% innovation success rate will fail. Only with the freedom to fail, there can be breakthrough invention, anything else is just peanuts. Only with breakthrough invention there can be market-changing innovation. That is often forgotten.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2012/08/01/the-lesson-that-market-leaders-are-failing-to-learn-from-xerox-parc/

#innovation #invention #xeroxparc  
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