To compete in the digital economy, MIT CISR research has found that, like digital start-ups, established companies must both rapidly create digital offerings and continuously introduce new features and services that enhance the value proposition.[foot]For a definition and description of digital offerings, see J.W. Ross, C.M Beath, and I.M. Sebastian, “Digitized ≠ Digital,” MIT Sloan CISR Research Briefing, Vol. XVII., No. 10, October 2017.[/foot] Companies with many thousands of employees cannot hope to pivot to new market opportunities as rapidly as companies that are just starting up. But big companies can—and must—learn how to innovate quickly.
MIT CISR has studied how digital music provider Spotify continues to rapidly innovate as it grows. To be sure, as a company with three thousand employees, Spotify’s growth does not rival that of the biggest digital companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Salesforce. But Spotify has been unusually public about its organizational design and management practices—practices that are consistent with those described by the largest digital companies. And Spotify finds it must constantly adapt to new and unforeseen competitors—a threat faced by many established companies.