Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the questions we are often asked.

 
 

HOW DOES FIRSTEP COMPARE WITH TRADITIONAL VENTURE ACTIVITIES? (INCUBATORS / CONSULTANTS / VENTURE INVESTING)

FIRSTEP is compatible with traditional approaches, like incubators and accelerators, but is far more effective at bringing fresh thinking and insights into the organization.  In our experience, it’s common for innovators on the edge to have deep insights into specific emerging forces, but those insights are rarely visible to enterprise leaders. Incubator and venture activates were meant to address this challenge, but their success has been limited because neither approach is particularly effective at helping business unit leaders extract insights from the foundational
thinking of edge innovators.  FIRSTEP is focused on bridging the thinking gap between enterprise and the edge, exposing both entrepreneurs and enterprise to fresh thinking.  

 

HOW DOES FIRSTEP CONTRIBUTE TO INNOVATION?

FIRSTEP is based on a simple insight… before anyone has an 'aha' moment, they first observe the 'forces' around them, and (consciously or unconsciously) develop a personal ‘thesis’ on how those 'forces' are most likely to unfold.  It’s the ‘thesis’ that sparks insight & inspires vision. Get it right and you unlock massive value.  Get it wrong, and the entire effort is at risk, because inventing the perfect solution (product or service) for a future that doesn’t exist, is a sure path to disaster.  To avoid that fate, enterprise leaders must ensure that their vision is based on sound foundational thinking about the speed and trajectory of emerging forces, that they’ve built internal alignment around how key forces are most likely to unfold, and that they have a mechanism in place to course-correct the organization’s thinking fast.  FIRSTEP helps with all three of these priorities.

 

WHERE DOES FIRSTEP FIT IN?

The FIRSTEP process comes before traditional innovation and strategy processes… it’s focused on the foundational thinking that lies below the big idea.  The process is uniquely designed to help bridge the gap between how edge innovators and enterprise leaders see the forces of disruption in a given space.   For the immersive sessions, we use a proven process called FORCECASTING, which was developed specifically for helping edge entrepreneurs crystallize their thinking about the speed and trajectory of the forces most likely to impact their success. The magic lies in our unique ability to create immersive experiences where both sides suspend bias long enough to share foundational thinking. This fosters a deep level of mutual understanding, which in turn helps enterprise leaders develop a genuine understanding of the forces of disruption as seen through the lens of innovators on the edge.  It’s that fresh perspective that sparks new insights and surfaces opportunities that would otherwise be missed.