The Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them

Harvard Business Review

Inexperienced friends and family (and, increasingly, crowdsourced investors) lack the ability to gauge the viability of a business, or to mentor naïve entrepreneurs. This knowledge gap, I have come to believe, is best filled by savvy incubators. However, there are over 7,500 business incubators around the world. The first business incubator in the U.S. opened in 1959 and is still operating. It has fueled a bit of an incubator bubble, I must admit.

How the U.S. Can Rebuild Its Capacity to Innovate

Harvard Business

has lost what Harvard Business School’s Willy Shih calls the “ industrial commons ”: indispensable production skills and capabilities. We have identified four principles with straightforward steps that policymakers, business leaders, and universities can take to restore innovation ecosystems. Jetta Productions/Getty Images. Many U.S. firms have long had a simple mantra: “Invent here, manufacture there.”

The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

Harvard Business Review

Strangely, most CEOs seem resigned to this fact, since few, if any, have tackled the challenge of innovation with the sort of zeal and persistence they’ve devoted to the pursuit of operational efficiency. Most of the recommended remedies—idea wikis, business incubators, online collaboration, design thinking, “authentic” leadership, et al —are no more than minor tweaks.