Crossing the Chasm!
The idea that a large ship turns slowly made its way from nautical uses into business lexicon a long time ago. You know the adage: Big companies can’t respond quickly to customers or market forces. They’re too big, too bureaucratic, too invested in the status quo – or so the story goes.
Lumen is an exception to this rule for many reasons. It stays nimble by leveraging partners and working with customers on where they see their businesses heading in the next three, five or ten years. Lumen is also an innovator, disrupting its own way of doing things at times.
Lumen Digital Ventures is another way that this large enterprise is staying nimble. To extend the nautical metaphor, a large ship doesn’t have to turn quickly when it can lower a fast-moving launch into the water to scout the sea ahead.
Lumen Digital Ventures is an innovation startup. We happen to reside within a large enterprise that can bring lots of resources to bear on customer situations. We are new and agile. We are established and experienced. We enjoy the best of both worlds. And so do our customers.
The startup experience
Startups and fast-scaling innovators have unique needs. Lumen Digital Ventures tailors all of Lumen’s capabilities to the entrepreneurial business model. We know your needs because we are a startup as well.
Launching Lumen Digital Ventures was like securing venture capital funding and selling an idea. There are emerging niches with potentially high growth rates that the larger enterprise might overlook because they aren’t big enough today or don’t have big companies in them.
Recently, I wrote about the new space race as entrepreneurs look to put their innovations into Earth orbit either to solve problems in space (like accumulations of space junk) or to solve Earth-based problems from a new vantage point (ubiquitous internet access, for instance). That’s just one example of a market that could get lost in a big company’s quarterly scramble. Yet, the possibilities are enormous. It’s a classic innovator’s dilemma-type situation for big companies where the potential of a smaller niche isn’t recognized until it’s too late.
Lumen Digital Ventures, however, is already engaged with space companies and many others. And like any scrappy startup, we know the value of every contract; it’s a point of validation for what we’re trying to do.
Crossing the chasm
Our value proposition is that we can accelerate growth and reduce risk at key steps in the startup life cycle. For instance, Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy is a key concern for every startup. Depending on the service, our global fiber network or edge compute capabilities can be built into your GTM plans. We can bring our own ecosystem of partners to bear on your needs so there is a custom solution that is less risky for the startup and will look less risky to a new customer base.
Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” is often considered one of the most important books for the technology adoption life cycle. One of its key teachings is that early success can be derailed as a product or service attempts to make the leap from the early adopters to an early majority, and later to the market mainstream. The entrepreneur’s needs change as each of these chasms are crossed. It might be as simple as more network bandwidth. It might be as complicated as moving capabilities out of the cloud and rearchitecting them to execute at the edge.
Lumen Digital Ventures lives in this world too, recruiting from the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We help innovators look ahead to what they need at the next level of growth, and we can leverage the many assets of a large technology company to cross those chasms.
Fellow travelers on the journey
Every day is a sprint in the startup world. Yet, the race is a marathon.
Lumen Digital Ventures’ job is to travel with you on that journey. We bring the resources of a big company, and the experience of a startup.
What’s your idea? What do you need for the next leg of your journey? Let’s talk.
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