Is there a code for innovation?February 15th, 2011 by Wladimir Nikoluk
Is there a code for innovation? Sandboxer Bjoern Herrmann and his team at Blackbox, a new seed accelerator, want to know. In their attempt to answer this fascinating question, they have launched the Startup Genome Project to explore the DNA of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.
The financial crisis has left hundreds of millions of people jobless globally. Given the structural changes the global economy is going through more significant losses may be just around the corner.
To defend against this possibility, countries and large corporations all around the world are trying to copy the success of Silicon Valley. Millions of people travel to Silicon Valley every year to learn how entrepreneurship happens there. Russia recently invested billions to make Skolkovo the Russian Silicon Valley, Chile with Startup Chile, the UK with East London & many other attemps in Singapore, Berlin, Pune, Hong Kong, Seoul, etc.
The energy being invested to replicate Silicon Valley is so enormous because countries have recognized that innovation is the only long-term sustainable growth strategy. Many studies back this up, such as the one the Kauffman foundation released last year that showed all the job growth in the US comes from startups.
But so far none of these initiatives have been able to replicate how Silicon Valley makes startups successful because it is not yet understood how Silicon Valley turns out winner after winner as a repeatable process.
Blackbox, a Silicon Valley accelerator with a global focus, has started an initiative to crack the code that has made Silicon Valley the world’s primary source of innovation, so that the secret sauce can become a globally used recipe for innovation. Yesterday they have launched their foundational work as the Startup Genome Project and are offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to benchmark their startup and contribute information that will take the project to the next level.
Their work includes the ability to type startups, identify their developmental stage & and the metrics that matter, and a system to integrate the methodologies of many of the Valley’s leading thinkers such as Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Sean Ellis and Dave Mcclure. They have tested their approach with 50 startups in Silicon Valley and their early prototypes suggest significant improvements in focus, iteration speed, time to pivot and effective outreach to mentors & service providers.
To support Bjoern Herrmann and his team in their task, you can fill out the survey here. In exchange, Blackbox will send you a comparative analysis that shows you other startups that are similar to you and gives strategic recommendations on topics such as what metrics to track.