“It is important for me to keep my hands on the leading edge of technology; I need to stay deep in development and R&D.”
“New systems as they enter the market, especially complex ones, are going to have reliability issues.”
“After these acquisitions, the soft challenges are the ones that drive the strong R&D types away; the knowledge transfer is what suffers for the acquiring company, and it is either not realized or under-valued post-acquisition.”
- Common statements from the emerging tech/startup engineers.
There is no easy answer. It requires addressing.
The large strategics whose strategy moving forward is acquisition heavy in areas where they have limited domain experience.
The ones that put meaningful and initially uncomfortable solutions in place will have greater success than those who do not.
The divergence for those that put legitimate programs in place that are architected by the startup types themselves will break away.
Perpetuating a workplace post-acquisition where the “startup” mindset can continue to play, learn, and experiment will drive critical retention of the one-percenter R&D types for a longer knowledge transfer runway.
It will be an interesting time ahead as we have more complex systems like surgical robotics, navigation, imaging, and algorithm-driven / AI platforms.