How Big Companies Innovate

Big companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels so, besides buying up smaller ones, they must continue to innovate. Here are three case studies from Starbucks, Amazon.com and UPS.

What's the Latest Development?


Big companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels or get clumsy due to their awkward weight. In addition to buying up smaller companies, which generally feed them innovative ideas, large businesses must spend considerable resources innovating on their own. For Starbucks, Amazon.com and UPS, that means reaching their customers better. Starbucks recently opened a portable store in its home city of Seattle using four stackable shipping containers. The store can be used to test customer bases in new locations without massive investment.

What's the Big Idea?

While ordering goods online can be convenient, receiving them can be tricky. The mail comes during the day, when most people are out of the house, and retrieving packages from the post office could substitute as a form of punishment. To solve that problem, Amazon wants to create PIN-based self-service lockers located at your local convenience store. If you're not home when the mail arrives, pick up your package nearby and at your convenience. UPS is testing the same idea in Virginia, allowing customers to safely pick up high-value items.

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