What were the key success features of your corporate entrepreneurship journey?
1. Minimise dependencies on the core business
For example, getting the go-ahead to launch with my own separate IT team was important for the success of Veygo. At Admiral Group, development capability could then be more centralised and shared across certain projects. But having my own IT team meant that we could offer not just a product, but an intrapreneur “venture”. No matter how small, I could make autonomous decisions about product development, which was critical as the concept was an online platform.
2. Get ring-fenced autonomy
If you want to succeed, you need to be “ring-fenced”. Or, in other words, able to work independently and have some protection. Celebrate when you make £1,000, even if the group wouldn’t even notice such a small amount.
3. Don’t lose sight of the customer
In early 2018, we had to push ourselves to remember to love customers. When customers can buy without talking to you, you can quickly lose sight of them. And, if you want to improve the product, you need to stop rooting your growth in customer insights.
4. Don’t forget quality
We initially misread the Lean Startup by thinking that speed should be the priority and quality can come later. After two years of using this approach, we were never sure if subpar results meant the customer didn’t need the product or because the quality wasn’t great. Quality has to be part of your culture from the get-go.