Can You Really Incubate the Next Big Thing?

9 thoughts on “Can You Really Incubate the Next Big Thing?”

  1. Great read and good to see it wasn’t YC being used. Idealab don’t get enough credit it seems. If I was ever to go back to working for someone again then I would love to work for a company like that.

  2. Great post and insights. Bill Gross validates what another great entrepreneur, Paul Graham has said – that it all boils down to people and the founders. Also, another key to cracking the nut, may perhaps be to execute often, fail cheaply, and iterate. Adopt the lean startup methodology to keep costs as low as possible, continuously incorporate customer and market feedback to improve upon the product, till it gains traction in the market.

  3. The right people are the scarce resource, not the physical assets — so I agree with Bill Gross among others here. This has spawned a host of accelerators modeled after YC that offer many important people-driven benefits: networking, lessons learned, and most importantly, pattern recognition from accelerator staff and investors who have worked with many companies over the years.

    Here at PARC, we view a portion of our business as being an accelerator for select, early-stage ventures by offering structured interactions with our world-class technologists. Not only do our people understand the deep science behind differentiating technology, but they also know how to apply it toward innovations that can scale. Perhaps most importantly, we have our own version of pattern recognition developed over decades that is useful for technology-driven ventures. [In very limited cases, PARC invites startups to be resident within the building, but only if we feel that the team would benefit from the informal hallway and cafeteria conversations that we ourselves have regularly.]

    Would love to see more of your thoughts on what are the qualities that make some accelerators better than others.

  4. After reading your good article (as usual) I’m wondering whether it is right to consider IdeaLab as an “incubator”. They take 70 percents minimum ownership to start with? That’s a lot! It’s like they’re more in the business of creating their own viable products (from ideas) and team around them, which added up together equal future businesses…

    1. B’cos its their own, funds, people and infrastructure etc., they can take 70%. If they invest in other’s ideas and teams, I am sure that would be a fraction of the amount.

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