Why Don’t Innovators Apply to Large Companies?

Both domestically and abroad, a notable phenomenon is that in the past 20 years, true innovators have mostly chosen not to work for large companies. Why is this?

On the one hand, the management practices of many large companies are mostly behind the times. They are precisely the objects of subversion by innovative companies. Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme once said: “Since 2000, digital disruption has removed half of the Fortune 500 companies from the list.” Those removed are not just the companies at the bottom of the list. In fact, the days of those super-large enterprises at the top of this list are not easy. According to data from the 2020 Fortune Rankings, only 2 of the top 20 companies on the Fortune Rankings 20 years ago are still in the top 20.

The Fortune Rankings reflect current sales data. And a company’s stock price reflects investors’ expectations for the company’s future. According to statistics from QGENIUS Qilin Talent List, none of the highest-valued companies in 1990 still appear in the top 10 global market value in 2020. Only Microsoft is still in the top 10 among the top 10 highest-valued companies in 2000, and only Microsoft and Apple are still in the top 10 in 2020 among the top 10 on the list in 2010.

These data and facts tell us that most of those large companies that now look very glamorous are mostly behind the times in terms of management thinking and methods. But this is still an external phenomenon. The real reason is the management system within most large companies.

As early as the end of last century, management guru Clayton Christensen clearly pointed out in his famous book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that it is their own management that makes large companies powerless against “disruptive innovation.” This deep-seated reason is difficult to correct with ordinary management methods. Structural problems determine that once a company becomes large, “big company disease” will inevitably occur.

Therefore, for true innovators, career opportunities lie in small and medium-sized enterprises.

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