Learning from Unicorns: How the Lean Startup Method Combined with Agile Practices can be Adopted by Large Firms and Result in Higher Digital Product Innovation. Enablers and Blockers of this Adoption

Giacomo Parato

Student thesis: Diploma thesis


In the last decade many industries have adopted innovation practices that introduced digital products in their markets; these have gained a significant traction and market share and in some cases have disrupted entire industries (Netflix case vs blockbuster). Within the assets driven industries like shipping, this phenomena is yet to create a disruptive effect. However, many new entrants and unconventional competitors are starting to explore these sectors to potentially disrupt them. These new entrants are fast in prototyping and creating new products and services; they simplify customer journeys and experiences; they offer simpler and more attractive digital products; they explore new business models. These new entrants are posing a serious threat to the shipping industry. The new ways of working and innovating have emerged in the startup scene. Large firms have looked at the effectiveness of how these smaller and less bureaucratic firms operate and innovate and have tried to adopt their practices. In this study we investigate how a large firm in the shipping industry can learn and adopt startup practices and adopt these for higher digital product innovation. We identify possible blockers and enablers of innovation and we discuss our findings and conclusions. We interview 5 people from a well established incumbent in the shipping industry and we combine this primary data with secondary data from surveys, statistics, and from case studies published by consulting firms.

EducationsGraduate Diploma in Innovation Management, (Diploma Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages48
SupervisorsMarion Poetz