Why try to innovate when you can buy to innovate ?

Tyrannosaurus rex

There’s a bit of a trend going on with the legacy vendors right now. Before, they burned through R&D budgets on a very risk averse basis in the hope of creating something potentially innovative. But the trouble with that method is you’re still very much tied to the ideals and thoughts that exist in the business which, let’s face it, are a little blinkered. It was the old case of being too close to the product to really break out from it.

However now there’s been a couple of recent acquisitions of startups that’s taken my notice. SoftwareAG being the latest today having just announced investment in a mobile solutions startup called MetaQuark, which includes a buy-out option, to bolster their presumably lacking mobile capabilities and compliment their Big Data and Cloud offerings.

This isn’t new. None of this is really. But what I’m drawing attention to is that instead of wasting time with an R&D model, or going down the grotty M&A route with a competitor, larger and less innovative dinosaurs (present company accepted) are now targeting the startup revolution where there’s far more talent, buzz and headline grabbing opportunity. Apart from that it’s also carbon-copy of the current Silicon Valley model, I’m surprised IBM hasn’t bought Dropbox after their own recent buy of Mailbox for their own Lotus product yet. I’m sure something will happen in that direction.

If anything, other than celebrating accelerated ‘innovation’ where it was lacking it’s a bit of a vote of no confidence in internal R&D talent to come up with something themselves.

So, if you’re a fresh startup with something really cool, you have the option of trying to court a Velociraptor like Facebook with your plumage or maybe even a Diplodicus like Oracle it would now seem. Or just stay independent.

It all depends now on which dinosaur species you choose to mate with.


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