Yahoo created an offsite incubator called Brickhouse infuse itself with startup energy,(BusinessWeek, Feb. 26). Its job is to shorten the time it takes to bring new ideas to market. “The goal is to take the idea, develop it, and make sure it’s seen by senior management quickly. They need to iterate, see customer reactions, and launch fast.
How does the Brickhouse model work? Any of Yahoo’s 13,000 employees can submit proposals for possible new products. Up to 200 ideas are submitted each month. A council of five top company executives, votes for only the best five to 10. Before Brickhouse began, there were far fewer suggestions and they tended to be brief one-liners. Now, employees post screenshots, create mock-ups, present cases, and describe potential hurdles.