The i factor. That’s the same factor that everyone that calls himself an entrepreneur have, but of course without being part of a big company, it’s called the e factor.
Being part of a big company and have the soul of an entrepreneur is like having the best of both worlds: support for your ideas as they form and grow and a huge sandbox to test it out. You will likely form an idea, present it, gain traction within the company and if everything goes well, see the idea happen. No strings attached. If the idea is not worth it, you will get it at some point and move on to the next idea without losing anything.
Of course that you can argue that not having “the fear” that characterizes an entrepreneur is almost lethal. That fear is pretty much the engine that moves an entrepreneur forward, fueled by the desire to have financial independence (a.k.a getting rich) and be successful. That idea of making it on your own, be your own boss, set your path to the future instead of having that path predefined by third-parties. Let me just say it: being an intrapreneur is not going to abolish that fear, is going to transform it.
Having ideas that may help the big company you work for is going to set your own path, is going to give you a sense of making it on your own inside the company and as you are the creator of the idea, is like being your own boss. The company can apply your idea to its clients, showing the client how innovative the company can be to improve their outcome, and you can own the success. Both the big company and your self can grow so it’s a win-win situation if you ask me.
So in every sense, “the fear” is going to transform to “the challenge”, which seems to be more healthier by the way, and drive you to test new stuff in a safe playground while you are paid a salary. That salary is the outcome of you working on the project you are assigned to in the big company, which after a while of applying that i factor, it turns into a side project as you focus on bringing innovation to the table.
In my case, the big company is Globant, and as part of the i factor contest presented this year, a college and I came up with an idea and enrolled. We are now finalists to win a scholarship to Singularity University, and to make it there we enjoyed a whole week of very successful people and Endeavor Argentina teaching us how to be an intrapreneur. That by itself is a huge prize, a win-win situation, now let’s see what happens 🙂