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What's the difference between being an entrepreneur and a corporate explorer?



The Great Resignation is being transformed into a startup boom by the Great Resignation itself. Since the epidemic, the rate of startup creation in the United States has quadrupled.

People who are fed up with pitching ideas to bosses who don't want to hear them or who are hesitant to take a risk are suddenly seizing the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of being their own boss. But is it the correct decision? Are managers who have a fantastic idea forced to pursue it on their own?

There's a common belief that firms are unable to innovate because their CEOs are too concerned about their bottom line to take risks. Even while they are open to new ideas, they seldom put in the time and money necessary to see them succeed.

It's true that most businesses have a hard time coming up with new ideas. There are several companies that no longer exist or have been reduced to mere shells as a result of rapid changes in technology or client preferences. Who wants a Blackberry or a Nokia phone? According to one estimate, the Standard & Poor's 500 index will lose half of its firms by the decade's conclusion.

Despite the fact that disruption is a truth of business in the twenty-first century, it is by no means the entire tale. There is no title more eye-catching than “Iconic brand goes bankrupt”–but it is just as true. In certain cases, companies have found a way to integrate disruptive innovation into their established business processes. As well as Amazon, Microsoft, and Panasonic, there are lesser-known brands including LexisNexis, Analog Devices, and UNIQA Insurance.

Rather than relying on software placed on servers and personal PCs to generate revenue, Microsoft has shifted to cloud-based services. Salesforce, Workday, and other cloud-based services and solutions have emerged as a result of the cloud's emergence (Slack). Microsoft should be in trouble if the prevailing thinking is correct. As a result, it was able to disrupt its own installed base in order to reimagine its old business model as an online service called Office 365.

Although Microsoft is an impressive success story, it is not the only one. Amazon has spawned a number of new companies. It didn't just settle with becoming the largest retailer in the world. Fast forward to now, and the company has expanded into the realms of entertainment, gadgets, and IT services. In contrast to Silicon Valley businesses, Amazon has built a structure for ideating, fostering, and growing new enterprises. By forming “two-pizza teams” (groups that can be fed on two pizzas each), they actively urge their staff to come up with innovative ideas.


Entrepreneurship is still required to turn these concepts into viable enterprises. They're called corporate explorers by me. When they notice a problem in the world, they want to remedy it, much like their startup counterparts. As a result, they decided to establish a firm inside an existing company rather than pursuing venture capital funding.

Yoky Matsuoka works at Panasonic. She is a serial entrepreneur who was part of the founding team of Nest, the smart sensor startup that was purchased by Google and is now known as Google Home. For her concept of A.I.-enabled consumer services, Panasonic was the ideal partner. As a consequence, a personal assistant service called Yohana was created to aid time-crunched parents. It is now being tested in Seattle. While at LexisNexis, Jim Peck established a data analytics division that has grown to more than $1 billion in revenue and is now bigger than LexisNexis itself in only two decades.

These executives, who see themselves as corporate explorers, have opted to pursue their entrepreneurial goals inside already-existing corporations. Instead of pursuing the apparently reasonable option of seeking a venture capital backer, they choose to embrace the difficulties and limitations of developing inside an existing organization. As a startup lacks many of the resources of a large firm, companies see this as a major advantage.

Customers are familiar with and trust brands like Panasonic and Microsoft. New businesses may draw on these enterprises' strengths to grow quickly, while startups have to start from the bottom up. Peck, Matsuoka, and other corporate explorers have the entrepreneurial spirit to turn this into new income like the finest of Silicon Valley.

To win the Great Resignation talent war, companies need to free up their corporate explorers to do their best work. It's critical to hold on to your most creative employees. Making it easier for them to move up and become corporate explorers may help.

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