Five Questions for David Kidder, Co-author of "New to Big: How Companies can Create Like Entrepreneurs..."
I recently read an excellent book by David Kidder and Christina Wallace, New to Big. It is one of the best books I have read on entrepreneurship, especially how you can bring an entrepreneur mindset into large companies to enable growth.
It is a playbook for large companies to not only survive but thrive by becoming "ambidextrous." They have to become a New to Big machine to build new businesses to sustain growth. Once it becomes big, the core can take that nascent business from Big to Bigger, which is their forte.
A company's success in becoming good at both New to Big and Big to Bigger rests on a CEO being ambidextrous. CEOs are experienced at Big to Bigger but not New to Big. Using a football metaphor, it is akin to having Tom Brady being great at QB on offense and also being an excellent safety on defense. But that is what is needed for large companies to remain relevant.
Every company wants a high valuation from Wall Street, but they don't know how to do it. Kidder explains at a high-level how a company can do this and turn it into its core competency. You don't have a choice. Either you are going to change or become roadkill.
What should you do if you want your company to grow by becoming a New to Big machine?
Start now since your competitors are already doing it.
It is hard for companies to become and remain a powerful Big to Bigger machine. Should large companies attempt to become a New to Big machine, or should they instead focus on their core competencies and acquire successful companies at New to Big?
What is the main reason that prevents a large company from becoming a New to Big machine?
You write in your book that the "success of New to Big sits squarely with the CEO." So don't you need a CEO with experience in New to Big to make it work?
Briefly, what should startups need to do to become a Big to Bigger machine? Should they attempt to become Big to Bigger by going IPO or sell to a large company or a private equity firm?
Isn't New to Big hard to succeed in large companies partly because you are trying to create this machine in an artificial environment? By this, I mean entrepreneurs make many sacrifices to create a market, including taking low compensation. How do you create that hunger and urgency in a New to Big initiative in large companies where they have an escape path to Big to Bigger?
You mention about Day One mindset that Jeff Bezos uses to keep Amazon a well oiled New to Big machine. But isn't he rare in that he has mastered being ambidextrous? Isn't that his secret sauce in making Amazon one of the most valuable companies on Wall Street?
Attributes + Skills of Day One Mindset:
Obsession over customer problems + needs (not tech)
Capturing impact of outside forces (right, on-time)
Rediscovery + leveraging of proprietary gifts
Outside-in vs. Inside-out: bold growth portfolios driving truth
Speed + cost: lean experimentation, productive failure
Five books recommended by David Kidder to get a deeper understanding of being an entrepreneur:
I want to thank David Kidder (founder, investor, speaker, and author) and Rachel Jerome (Marketing Manager) for their help with this blog post.
David Kidder's Books:
New to Big: How Companies Can Create Like Entrepreneurs, Invest Like VCs, and Install a Permanent Operating System for Growth
The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs
David Kidder's Linkedin Contact:
David Kidder's Website:
The Science of Success Podcast
Would You Bet Your Life On It? How to be Certain with David Kidder
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