CHAPTER 13Validation: Managing the Journey from Concept to Scale

Ellie Amirnasr and Charles Vaillant


A new business innovation in corporations is just like a venture. Managing it as an operational business or corporate R&D project is a recipe for failure. One common pitfall is applying traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) too early, as it stifles risk‐taking and prevents innovation. Instead, we argue in favor of using nonfinancial KPIs that indicate progress at the early stages of new business validation. These serve as a compass that helps the innovation team, stakeholders, and management navigate their way to success. Well‐defined progress and success metrics, when combined with the right understanding on how to build a $100 million business, enable business owners to evaluate the actual performance of their business in almost real time.

At MANN+HUMMEL, we used the “Hunter Strategy” concept designed by Christoph Janz1 to design a growth validation process for our digital ventures focusing on exploration‐type business. As a company, we are used to defining many indicators or metrics. However, if everything is important, then nothing is.

We define the three most important KPIs to measure progress toward success. We differentiate between leading and lagging indicators. At the early stages, we track leading indicators, such as number of generated leads; as the business matures, we monitor more lagging indicators, such as conversion rate and customer ...

Get Corporate Explorer Fieldbook now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.