(img source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89157267601160497/)
It is becoming increasingly evident that companies should be establishing labs inside their entities, for exploring new deep tech independently.
- The labs should have the autonomy to go far-out into futuristic new deep tech without having to worry about current limitations.
- The research function should be independent and should encourage creativity.
- To a large extent the labs work should not have time pressures.
- Productising these research ideas would be the key to differentiating the companies offerings in this hyper-competitive space.
- These labs should not be led by architects or EMs. They should be led by people who have experience in doing research, preferably PhD.
- Research rigour is important.
Some companies have been doing this for a very long time – Mercedes, Airbus, Sabre etc. Ixigo Kitchen Sink is a classic example from a few years ago. I am hearing of more newer companies starting to do this – Amadeus Labs, Rivigo labs etc.
It would be refreshing to see this happening in all the unicorns. For instance, I would imagine Swiggy would benefit immensely — so much funky stuff can be done on IoT, route planning, kitchen optimization etc. Similarly Go-MMT does a lot of research along with the day-to-day work. I believe that this is not the right approach. You should separate these two out – for best optimality. Else, engineers and PMs are permanently at a conundrum to see which is more important – long term research drivers or short term revenue drivers.
What do you guys think?