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Editorial

8 December 2013

Strategic value debate could be eaten by software

Synchrony’s launch of a software as a service tool to measure strategic value is a welcome experiment in innovation in the world of corporate venturing, it is only fair to note that many in the industry are skeptical that the strategic value of venturing can be measured effectively.

Author: Toby Lewis, Editor

Software is eating the world, according to Marc Andreessen, and it may soon eat debates on corporate strategy, if strategy analytics firm Synchrony Innovations gets its way.

Although Synchrony’s launch of a software as a service tool to measure strategic value is a welcome experiment in innovation in the world of corporate venturing, it is only fair to note that many in the industry are skeptical that the strategic value of venturing can be measured effectively.

Corporate venturing to some extent has to be about the creation of strategic value, as even top decile returns are comparatively insignificant relative to a large corporations’ balance sheet. This means there is a clearly a meaningful problem to be addressed by solutions such as TiCR, if they can do so. This is especially the case as debates about strategic value at present can often seem like mediaeval philosophers discussing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

Synchrony’s chief executive Adam Caper, a long-term supporter of Global Corporate Venturing, talks about his company as the Nielsen of strategic value.  Before US-based analytics company Nielsen started its tracking, advertising was effectively purchased by guesswork. But when Nielsen started measuring audience in the 1930’s, it created the conditions necessary for the largest firms to make the links of large media buys which financed mass media. Caper is hopeful his launch today will revolutionise the measurement of strategic value and large firms’ ability to invest in innovation, in the same way.

Doubtless many in corporate venturing will be interested to find out if his software can manage to do this.

 A demo he provided us last month, certainly made it seem an interesting software programme to play around with. We will be watching Synchrony’s progress with interest, as any light the firm can shed on how strategic value is achieved will doubtless be welcomed by our readership.

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