Intuit: 100 Startups In 100 Days
Aaron Eden isn't only an Intuit Innovation Catalyst, he's also an entrepreneur in his own right. Now he's part of a group helping Intuit bring the ideas of lean entrepreneurship inside an 8000 person company with an audacious goal: 100 Startups in 100 Days.
Aaron has watched Intuit grow over the years. He spent eight years at Intuit before leaving to work on his own startup. Though his new business was successful, he was drawn back to Intuit for another three.
Intuit has become a different company company in the time Aaron was away and he resonates with the design thinking and Design for Delight he found on his return.
While working on his own business, Aaron had been listening to podcasts on innovation and creativity. The work of former HP CTO Phil McKinney on Killer Innovation (now author of Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation) and that of The Lean Startup Machine (inspired by Eric Ries' book, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses), were foundations for him in his own business and as he came back to Intuit.
Aaron had the chance to think about how these ideas might support the company given Intuit's 10 percent unstructured time policy. After one data focused innovation project, combining random datasets and storyboarding with what the team might be able to create with them, the data and analytics team manager Aaron had worked with remarked that Aaron should use his skills as one of Intuit's formal Innovation Catalysts.
He went through Innovation Catalyst training in February of 2010.
Innovation catalysts help people throughout the organization work on innovation. The number of innovation catalysts has grown from 10 in the beginning (fiscal year 2009) to over 150 now. The idea for the role of innovation catalysts came from Intuit’s director of design who was challenged by Intuit's founder, Scott Cook, to find a way to support a broader perspective: Design for Delight where the focus is on solving customer pain through products and services developed through direct field research and speedy/iterative prototyping.
The innovation catalysts typically perform their role as part of their own unstructured time contributions. The number of catalysts, their actions, and how they are selected and trained has all followed the same design for delight interactions as regular service and product innovations do at the company. The next story is no different.Continued on the next page