- Jennifer has over 20 years of experience across the mobile, media, financial services, and technology sectors. As an executive in both Fortune 100 companies as well as start-ups, she has led strategy, business development, partnerships, investments, product and marketing launches, and developed and ran innovation programs, with a proven record of driving revenue, results, and differentiation for her employers while building & supporting strong teams.
- Additionally Jennifer supports entrepreneurs through advising and investing in mobile-related startups, innovation platforms & accelerator programs in the US and internationally.
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Embracing and Leveraging Third-Party Innovation for Mobile and Other New Digital Products
- Companies lack the internal resources to properly investigate technological advancements.
- No matter what the core business is, companies are largely focused on their existing business and do not have the resources to think about what other kinds of opportunities may be possible. Looking ahead to what may be developing is not part of the responsibilities of employees, so they focus instead on running the day-to-day business in optimizing and running their services to ensure that revenue is coming in or that costs are being managed.
- When companies have a dedicated team for innovation, those employees often lack the skills to make meaningful recommendations about new technology.
Employees who may be appropriate choices to run innovative services simply do not have the background and skills to take the company to the next area of innovation. For example, if a company is interested in offering mobile services to customers, they need employees who understand mobile technology, commercial terms and how to work mobile services into the existing business environment. The skills to provide the problem solving, creativity and new ways of thinking about the next wave of services need to come from outside resources.
- Rigid processes that companies employ prior to launching new products or services limit progress in the area of technological advancements.
A "factory environment" that includes rigid processes may work in running a business that needs clear compliance tracks, legal contracts and many standardized processes. But that kind of structure does not work when trying to launch a new service. Following prescribed rules set out in rigid processes is extremely labor intensive and time consuming, which works against the goal of innovation. Companies need to be flexible, adaptable and fairly quick to move if they plan to launch innovative services.
- Companies have unrealistic expectations about the amount of revenue that will be generated from the initial launch of new technology.
Companies need to manage their financial expectations regarding innovation. Launching new services requires building, testing, learning, piloting and then possibly making changes and trying again. The innovative service may not realize any revenue within the first 18 months because of the start-up costs associated with it. Managing expectations of what the product or service will realistically yield over a period of time is crucial.
- Companies have difficulty sorting out decisions on whether to build technology internally, partner with third-party vendors, or buy the technology outright.
If a pilot of the new technology was successful, then the company must decide if it's a team or a product that it should acquire. Operating the new technology internally too soon after launch comes with risks of a high degree of failure, however. In other cases, the decision might be to partner with a third party via a licensing agreement to manage the new technology. Building the technology internally is generally a lesser-used option because companies lack the resources to build, test, launch and maintain the service completely independently.