Telling “The Man” Where It Was Stuck


If you happen to work for a large company, this posting about brand extraction may sing to you. Perhaps it doesn’t relate directly to your position, but it’s not hard to situate it in a way that will fit. The idea, brand extraction, is just that: an concept. A business model really. It’s a method of finding all of the good that comes from within a company that never sees the light of day because it’s killed before it ever gets the chance (sound familiar, designer folk?). It’s a fun idea, refreshing even, but it’s potential is probably limited, given that it’s more a battle of ego than anything else, but you can just imagine a world where something like this would be in place. Unless maybe it means that the idea you think is brilliant gets turned down twice then, instead of just once. Here’s a little from the intro:

Here’s a startup idea: a consultancy that goes into corporations to discover ideas and innovations that languish there. The job: to extract brands.

Let’s be honest. The corporation has many great ideas that it never manages to harvest. These are notions sitting in reports from consultants, buried in internal committee work, neglected on the lab bench, ideas taken up and then let slip.

The culprits are clear enough. Some ideas are murdered in committee. Some are destroyed by the roller derby punishments of politics. Some drop between stools as personnel come and go. And some merely get lost in the very considerable shuffle of corporate life.

The corporation is now so good at mobilizing to address the present opportunity that it sometimes has a hard time keeping an eye on the alternative ones. What doesn’t get operationalized straight away tends to disappear from view.