Disruption happens. If you are a startup, you try to be the disruptor. But what if you are an established company with billions of dollars in revenue? Then you try to create a culture of innovation that rides the wave of change before it leaves your company behind. The trick is to know when to catch that wave. Next week at TechCrunch Disrupt, Intuit founder Scott Cook and GE’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Beth Comstock will sit down to share with the audience how they keep innovation humming at scale.
They will be joining other speakers including John Doerr, Michael Moritz, Barry Diller, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, HP’s Todd Bradley, Google’s Marissa Mayer, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, and Twitter’s Jason Goldman. (See agenda here, buy tickets here).
Cook, of course, started out as a disruptor himself in the 1980s when he brought accounting software to PCs. Intuit’s products (Quicken, Quickbooks, TurboTax) are the gold standard in financial software for individuals and small businesses. As software transitions to the Web, Intuit is coming right along with it. (I file all my taxes through TurboTax online). A year ago, Intuit acquired Mint, the personal budgeting service which launched at TechCrunch 40 in 2007 and won. More recently, it partnered with credit card reader Mophie to take on startups like Square in the mobile payments business.
In addition to running all of GE’s marketing, Comstock is also responsible for growth initiatives. She is spearheading its Ecomagination and Healthymagination programs. These go way beyond traditional marketing efforts. As part of its Ecomagination Challenge, GE is investing $200 million in greentech startups and technologies to come up with the next disruptive wave of energy products.
At Disrupt, we like to put interesting people together and see what conversations follow. Cook and Comstock both have a fine appreciation for the power of new ideas to drive growth. But what is the best way to capture those new ideas: through acquisitions, partnerships, organic projects? Join us at Disrupt to hear what they have to say on the subject and how they are trying to create cultures of innovation within their companies.
Beth Comstock is Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of GE. She leads the company’s organic growth and commercial innovation initiatives, and the sales, marketing and communications functions. She is responsible for the GE-wide business platforms ecomagination, devoted to reducing environmental impact with new technology, and healthymagination, focused on achieving sustainable health through innovation by lowering costs, improving quality and reaching more people. She returned to the CMO role after having spent over two years as President of Integrated Media at...
Scott Cook started his career at Procter & Gamble, where he learned about product development, market research, and marketing. He soon began using the insights he was learning there to look for an idea for a company of his own. That idea came to him one day when his wife was complaining about paying the bills. With personal computers just coming out at the time, Scott thought there might be a market for basic software that would help...