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Accelerating Innovation: Turner & Warner Bros Create Media Camp

On DROdio

Achieving strong product/market fit as a startup is arguably the most important thing a startup needs to get right, as early on as possible. One big barrier to doing that successfully is often finding customers that care enough about what the startup is doing to spend time helping the startup optimize its products for the customer's needs.

This gets especially hard with the Fortune 1000. Startups and behemoth companies couldn't be more different -- like oil and water. A startup lives in dog years, a large corporation in glacial years. Not only that, but corporations have to protect their existing revenue streams, which usually happens with a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. But therein lies a dilemma: A profitable business today may become irrelevant tomorrow. History is littered with mega companies that failed to adapt: Kodak, Blackberry and Nokia, to name a few. Even the obscenely profitable Microsoft just axed its CEO for missing innovation in mobile.

So how does a big company spur innovation while not jeopardizing its existing business? Time Warner came up with an innovative program called Media Camp. Big props to Balaji Gopinath, the VP of Emerging Technology for Turner, for originally championing this concept at Turner Broadcasting.

My startup, Socialize, went through Media Camp at Turner last year, and we also participated in a Warner Bros TV program called the Brand Innovation (a big thank-you to our investor Chris Redlitz for turning us on to that one). These experiences allowed us to get an investment from Time Warner as well as sign a commercial agreement with them. That was invaluable to us as a startup, but it's also given Time Warner the ability to become very forward-thinking around social & mobile. It's truly been a symbiotic relationship.

"7 Must-Do Guidelines To Build Products That People Actually Want"

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

This piece tells you Zac Cohn's story and awakening from being shy, to becoming a cutting edge athlete in parkour, to learning how to actually make sure you're building things that people actually want with your business time.

Zac is doing a GiveGetWin deal that has a mix of a group class and personal attention: Personal Training In How To Build Products That People Actually Want. It'll be an outstanding and insightful experience.

"7 Must-Do Guidelines To Build Products That People Actually Want"by Zac Cohn, as told to Sebastian Marshall

I was a pretty shy person when I was younger, but it started to change when I went with my dad on a business trip he was taking to San Francisco.

We went to a technology talk show called "The Screen Savers." We were talking to the handler -- the person who makes sure the live audience behaves.

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