Venture Capital: Looking for New Ideas, Not Necessarily New Technology

Venture capitalists are looking for new ideas, not necessarily new technology, according to an interesting article from Knowledge @ Wharton.  Some of the greatest business successes among new ventures in recent years have used off-the-shelf technology in new ways:  FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter are simply new ways to configure old (like, a year or two old) technology.

Business implication:  your own operations are not taking full advantage of current technology.  What you need to do: make sure that your people are aware of what’s happening.  Some of these technologies are mostly used in juvenile ways (YouTube videos of setting fire to flatulence), but what could they do in your company?

Here are some ideas:

  • when you need to explain new policies, procedures or technology to your employees, try a short video.  YouTube will even host it for you (for non-proprietary info only, of course).
  • break down the silos by using groups as in FaceBook.  You have, say, five regional divisions.  FaceBook makes it easy for all the sales support staff to be connected, all the users of XYZ software to be connected, all the personnel who support the IBM account to be connected.
  • advertise to your employees.  In corporate-to-corporate emails, throw in an ad on the bottom of each email, like G-mail does.  Advertise the company 401k plan, the customer service program, the company picnic

Get with some young people and learn what’s hot.  Apply it.