Quantum Monkeys Blog

Intrapreneurs, pirates on the corporate sea

Innovation is key to success. We often see startups as hotbeds for innovation while larger companies are too mired in process, politics, and regulations to innovate, preferring to simply buy startups with a good product.

But it does not have to be that way. Very large companies such as Google, Apple, GE, Lockheed-Martin and so many others make good use of intrapreneurs to innovate in a manner similar to startups, without as many risks.

Intrapreneurs share the thirst for exploration and strange waters that their entrepreneur cousins have, while also enjoying breaking the rules of the calcified organizations they work for. Back in the early ’80s, Apple’s Macintosh team took up the pirate imagery and followed the maxim “Better to be a pirate than join the Navy”. That same renegade spirit inhabits intrapreneur teams everywhere to this day.


By Maurice Lefebvre, ago