Steering the Queen Mary with a Paddle: Building a Startup inside a Fortune 100 Company
In 2018 Charter Communications is launching Spectrum Mobile, a new mobile carrier that has the lofty goal to disrupt the biggest players in the highly established and competitive Wireless Industry. The #2 provider of cable services in the US, Charter is hardly a startup, but entering this new and highly competitive space required blowing up existing business practices, getting employees used to uncertainty, and building a culture of speed and innovation -- all with a huge risk of failure. If you think it’s hard to build a profitable startup, wait until you see what it takes to steer a $10 Billion company out of it’s traditional lines of business to become a tiny player in an enormous market.
Building new startup lines of business within existing large organizations is an area of growing interest for people who may work at larger companies or are interested in joining one, and a trend that cuts across traditional large companies such as GE, Coca Cola, and MasterCard. Given the legal, financial and technological obstacles to creating a brand new, large and potentially competitive mobile carrier, it is highly unlikely there will be another one built in the next 20 years. This session will give attendees insight into huge undertaking it takes to build an entirely new business unit within a highly competitive industry and take-away some lessons learned only 3 months after the product launches.
In this session, attendees will:
*Learn about the technological shifts enabling this new competitive business.
*Insights into what worked well, and what didn't to build this new line of business (3 months post-launch)
*First-hand accounts of the challenges with creating such a large business that is so totally new and unfamiliar to the larger company's prior experience.
*High-level pros and cons to a large company startup vs a true bootstrapped startup
Thomas Senters is the Director of Channel Development for Spectrum Mobile. Tom has close to 20 years experience in the mobile and PC industries, including being part of launching Cricket Wireless, and it's eventual purchase by AT&T. In Tom's role at Spectrum, he has played a key role in developing the in-person and digital experiences for customers, as well as leading the effort to remake existing organizations within Charter to adapt to mobile.
Doug Brown is a Consultant with Slalom Consulting who is currently acting as a Product Manager of Go-to-Market and Sales Channel Strategy for Spectrum Mobile. Doug has over 20 years experience in various segments of communications technology and software, crossing both large telecommunications service providers such as Charter, Verizon and CenturyLink and small local start-ups. Doug has helped to manage creation of the systems and processes needed to sell Spectrum Mobile, and position it for success in the future.
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