The popular perception is that most corporations are just too big and deliberate to produce game-changing inventions. We look to hungry entrepreneurs—the Gateses, Zuckerbergs, Pages, and Brins—instead. The rise of fast, nimble, and passionate venture-capital-backed entrepreneurs seems to have made slow-paced big-company innovation obsolete, or at least to have consigned it to the world of incremental advances. But Apple’s inventiveness is no anomaly; it indicates a dramatic shift in the world of innovation. The revolution spurred by venture capitalists decades ago has created the conditions in which scale enables big companies to stop shackling innovation and start unleashing it.
Three trends are behind this shift.
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