I really enjoyed completing my case study about Nature Education's groundbreaking Scitable platform for science education. Many people are happy to showcase their innovative projects. But few people are as forthcoming as Vikram Savkar in taking me behind the scenes.
I gained a good understanding of the steps required to innovate within a large organization:
- Hire an outside renegade.
- Have him build and sell his vision.
- Let him create his own team.
- Locate the team off-site.
- Take a blank slate approach.
- Create a blueprint with an integrated cross-functional team.
- Have the team implement the technology, the content, the user interface design, the business plan, and the marketing plan in parallel.
- Leverage your corporate technology group by agreeing on design standards up front and having them conduct architectural reviews throughout.
- Engage customers as hands-on advisors throughout the process.
- Design your information architecture around customers’ activities towards their goals.
- Build in instrumentation that lets you measure what matters to your customers as well as your sponsors.
- Beta test with friendly customers and invite them to invite their friends.
- Promote via the Internet and social media.
- Make it easy for customers to tell you what role(s) they are playing.
- Let customers see what activities they’ve performed, so they can pick up where they left off; profit from your ability to track what activities customers in different roles are doing.