Why Coke is hiring founders & holding failure conferences

hackerdojoDavid Butler works for one of the world’s best-known peddlers of a consumer product: Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. The designer and entrepreneur joined Coke in 2004, he explains, because “I love big, complex systems. Coke is a giant system.” Just how giant? Revenues in 2012 were $48 billion, and there are just two countries in which Coca-Cola doesn’t have shelf space: Cuba and North Korea.

In 2012, Butler, who had been vice president of global design, took on a new title: vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship. On LinkedIn, he describes his mandate this way: “My role is to build our capability in business model innovation and to build a more entrepreneurial culture. Simply put, we’re adopting ‘Lean Startup‘ methods across a 127 year-old company with 17 billion-dollar brands, 1.8 billion daily users, and operations in 207 countries.” (At left is a photo from a recent Silicon Valley hackathon that invited techies to reimagine the soda fountain, with a $10,000 prize.)

Butler offered a glimpse of some of the experiments he’s trying — and considering — at last month’s Business Innovation Factory conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Here’s an edited transcript of his talk. Brackets [ ] indicate where we’ve condensed or rephrased his original wording.

... continued ...

Gated Article Promo

Read the rest of the article ... and give IL a test drive!

Complete the form below for a 14-day trial of Innovation Leader, including access to case studies, research excerpts, live calls, and other resources. Got questions? Get in touch »
SEE INNOVATION LEADER IN ACTION!
Watch this quick video to see the main benefits of Innovation Leader membership.
 
Innovation Leader
What Is Innovation Leader?
Are you responsible for creating new growth in a large organization? We've got you covered. IL members get full access to our research, articles, case studies, live events, webcasts & conference calls, downloadable resources and more. Become a member »

Case Studies, Articles
Members-only online access to articles, case studies, best practices, video tutorials, more.
RESEARCH REPORTS
Exclusive reports on topics including metrics, benchmarking, labs, compensation, and more.
IL Events LIVE EVENTS
Member discounts to our one-of-a-kind, loved-by-participants live learning events.
Il Resources RESOURCE CENTER
Dozens of downloadable checklists, innovation frameworks, spreadsheets, and dashboards.
Learn More & Become a Member