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Pivot: How Top Entrepreneurs Adapt and Change Course to Find Ultimate Success by Joanne Hyland, Remy Arteaga

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Chapter 6

Discovery–Attractiveness of the Business Opportunity1

Let's go back to Insight 7 from Chapter 3 (that not everyone is good at this, you need the right people on board), and tell the story of Dylan and Frank.

Both were highly skilled analysts on my Nortel Business Ventures Group (BVG) team. They were early in their careers, ambitious, and diamonds in the rough that I knew would require my coaching to help them uncover their potential. They were part of the initial core team, and we developed our approach to innovation together. Dylan is an engineer, with an MBA, and Frank has his MBA, with a finance specialization. Their role was to screen and evaluate the ideas that were being submitted from Nortel employees to determine where we wanted to place our investment dollars. In the first few months, there was pent-up demand. A few teams came forward that had already been working on business opportunities, so we had to evaluate the merits of their proposals. We invested in two of these within our first few months, which took considerable time. We also had made a request for proposals from Nortel employees, so we also had to screen their submissions, most of which were simply raw, underdeveloped ideas, not investment opportunities. With the involvement of others on the team, Dylan and Frank screened out a few hundred ideas in the first year.

After about a year and a half of investing in promising Nortel technologies and business models, I received a call from our president of ...

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