To pick the home runs you need to invest in a lot of losers and mediocre projects. The data from early stage venture capital clearly illustrates this. If executives in companies knew the data, they would probably not expect a majority of projects to become a winners.
Early stage venture capital investors know that it's impossible to pick the big winners without investing in losers early on. The data shows that 6 out of 10 early stage investments will fail out right. 1 out of 4 might make some money, and only 4 out of 100 will turn out to be home runs.
For executives that data means they need to invest in at least 25 projects to create one substantial growth engine and do so every ear. They need to get a lot more comfortable with failure, if they hope to innovate and grow!
We’ve written a couple of posts about the challenge of picking winners, and the mindset shift that has to happen in large companies. Senior executives need to think more like VCs when investing in new business ideas: