How corporate failure can breed an entrepreneurial ecosystem

by Ryan Streeter on March 19, 2013. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Daniel Isenberg offers some interesting insights at the Harvard Business Review blog on how entrepreneurship can flourish after a corporation cracks:

[O]ne of the deep, dark secrets of the flourishing of entrepreneurship in parts of the world as diverse as Israel, India, Colorado, and Denmark has been “corporate fall” — the death or shrinkage of large corporate incumbents whose detritus feeds the entrepreneurship culture. We don’t have far to look for current examples: Today Finland is witnessing an upsurge in entrepreneurship now in part because corporate giant Nokia is in the midst of shedding 10,000 high-quality jobs. As it happens, the “Nokia Bridge Program” is a socially minded strategy for both easing the pain of layoffs, and intentionally supporting the more talented.

A similar drama is taking place in aptly-named Waterloo Canada as RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones have become overripe. Initially fueled by RIM’s success, Kitchener-Waterloo’s “Quantum Hub” is now being fed by its turbulent ups and downs, with thousands of highly trained people flooding the small region.