Disruption happens. If you are a startup, you try to be the disruptor. But what if you are an established company with billions of dollars in revenue? Then you try to create a culture of innovation that rides the wave of change before it leaves your company behind. The trick is to know when to catch that wave. Next week at TechCrunch Disrupt, Intuit founder Scott Cook and GE’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Beth Comstock will sit down to share with the audience how they keep innovation humming at scale.
They will be joining other speakers including John Doerr, Michael Moritz, Barry Diller, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, HP’s Todd Bradley, Google’s Marissa Mayer, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, and Twitter’s Jason Goldman. (See agenda here, buy tickets here).
Cook, of course, started out as a disruptor himself in the 1980s when he brought accounting software to PCs. Intuit’s products (Quicken, Quickbooks, TurboTax) are the gold standard in financial software for individuals and small businesses. As software transitions to the Web, Intuit is coming right along with it. (I file all my taxes through TurboTax online). A year ago, Intuit acquired Mint, the personal budgeting service which launched at TechCrunch 40 in 2007 and won. More recently, it partnered with credit card reader Mophie to take on startups like Square in the mobile payments business.
In addition to running all of GE’s marketing, Comstock is also responsible for growth initiatives. She is spearheading its Ecoimagination and Healthyimagination programs. These go way beyond traditional marketing efforts. As part of its Ecoimagination Challenge, GE is investing $200 million in greentech startups and technologies to come up with the next disruptive wave of energy products.
At Disrupt, we like to put interesting people together and see what conversations follow. Cook and Comstock both have a fine appreciation for the power of new ideas to drive growth. But what is the best way to capture those new ideas: through acquisitions, partnerships, organic projects? Join us at Disrupt to hear what they have to say on the subject and how they are trying to create cultures of innovation within their companies.