Ferreting out Innovation


If you’ve been following my tweets you may have heard about “Project Sputnik.”  While I’m not quite ready to talk about it, I wanted to give some insight into the program that’s helped get it off the ground.

Innovation Incubation

At the beginning of the year Dell launched an internal incubation fund with the idea of rooting out innovation throughout the company.  The thought was that there are probably a bunch of cool ideas tucked away in the heads of employees at all different levels of the company, ideas that would ultimately benefit our customers if given a little protection and help to get off the ground.

The three Dell employees behind it, Nnamdi Orakwue, Michale Cote and Matt Baker act like a mini  internal VC firm hearing pitches from employees.  Those projects they approve get a small amount of cash to build out their idea for six months.  At the end of six months the projects will either get their training wheels taken off and folded into business units, apply for more funding or disbanded.

Enter Sputnik

The program is just getting started and the first project green lighted was Project Sputnik.  I’m very excited about it and am looking forward to be able to talk all about it in the near distant future.  Stay tuned…

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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7 Responses to Ferreting out Innovation

  1. […] possible by an internal innovation fund, project Sputnik is a 6 month effort to explore the possibility of creating an open source laptop […]

  2. […] voltado para desenvolvedores mobile (dispositivos móveis) e cloud (na nuvem). O projeto vem sendo incubado há 6 meses pela […]

  3. […] more at Technoholik and on Barton George’s blog, here and here (you can also follow him on […]

  4. […] became available, that made it a no-brainer for me,” he explained. “We had this incubation program, plus this hardware we can put it on, so everything just fell into […]

  5. Mitch Halmu says:

    In November 2012, before the developer model loaded with Sputnik was officially released, I bought one of the first Dell XPS13 L322X preloaded with Windows 8 from Amazon.com and installed Debian wheezy/testing on it. Linux install procedure detailed at http://debian.netside.net/xps13_linux.html

    Seems like the box can run other Linux flavors quite well. Has the same hardware flaws observed in Ubuntu, though. BIOS rev A07 corrects the random freeze and the brightness script enables the keyboard controls for backlit.

  6. […] in the Spring, project Sputnik was the first effort green-lighted by an internal incubation program at Dell.  Thanks to the incubation program we got a little bit of funding and some […]

  7. […] mentioned at the beginning, project Sputnik began as a skunkworks effort.  It was made possible by internal incubation fund designed to bring wacky ideas from around the company to life in order to tap innovation that might […]

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