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Adobe's Kickbox - an innovation to create innovators
by Startacus Admin
Ever had one of those mornings, you get into the office, you have some coffee and a snack, and then it hits you like a ton of bricks; that award winning business idea that’ll definitely make millions?
We’ve all had that, or at least something very close, but the question remains, “What can I do about it?” Most businesses don’t appreciate employees taking time out for their own projects, but Adobe has something a little more unorthodox in store for their potential innovators.
Sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? Well, its contents are no stranger, but it's still pretty unusual. The red box is roughly the size of a short novel and contains a Starbucks gift card, a chocolate bar, a pen, two post-it pads, two notepads and the coup de grace, a $1,000 prepaid credit card. There are also a set of instructions and an action plan included in the box, to help the potential new innovator get their idea on its feet and past the management board, where the employee can ‘beat the box’.
Beating the box is the overall goal of the Kickbox, and to do so requires undertaking six stages of development, from formulating and developing the original idea, to creating a product, scaling it to upwards of 100 users and then finally, selling the product to potential investors (or in Adobe’s case, management). This isn’t all just expected of the kickboxer, they have a list of exercises, advice and instructions available in the box as well, just to make sure that the poor new innovator isn’t just flying blind.
The Kickbox came into existence when Vice-President of Creativity for Adobe, decided that he’d rather endorse and finance as many ideas as possible rather than only the few that ever made it to a presentation stage with management. This meant that every idea with the right guidance had a chance at becoming a successful and maintainable innovation. The inspiration behind this was that when asked, employees often cited the thought of trying to convince management of the potential in an idea was too daunting a task, and so they never progressed with any potential ideas. Thus this new platform for innovation was born.
This innovation in its own right effectively opens a plethora of doors for ideas and improvements across any platform, as it allows those with an idea to actually try it rather than just think about it, and it means that employees and innovators don’t have to impress management right away. They don’t even have to interact with management right away. The Kickbox allows these people to actively do what they think will work, without having to budget or file for expenses or, in a sense, convince anyone at the earliest stages. It gives the innovators creative control, and as such, inspiration from the moment they pull that clever little tab, that lets them become something more.