There’s an interesting post on HBR about why so few large companies routinely innovate. Of course, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all exceptions. From the piece:
What’s striking about Fast Company’s 2013 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies is the relative absence of large, established firms. Instead the list is dominated by the big technology winners of the past 20 years that have built innovation into their DNA (Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft), and a lot of smaller, newer start-ups. The main exceptions are Target, Coca Cola, Corning, Ford, and Nike (the company that topped the list).
Yes, we know about The Innovator’s Dilemma. However, that doesn’t explain the entire story. Many mature companies believe (erroneously) that all innovation needs to take place under their own roofs. Not so. Embrace, platforms, APIs, SDKs, gamification, open innovation, and other new concepts and watch the innovation flourish.