The Culture of Innovation: What Makes San Francisco Bay Area Companies Different?

March 1, 2012

This report examines more than 275 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, to identify the strategic, cultural, and organizational attributes that have led to the sustained success of this region. It classifies companies according to three strategic profiles: Need Seekers, Market Readers, and Technology Drivers. What differentiates them is primarily their approach to markets and customers. Companies following the model we call “Need Seekers” tend to concentrate on gathering the deepest insights possible into both the articulated and unarticulated needs and desires of their customers. “Market Readers” look to meet the needs of their customers, but they typically follow already established trends in the overall market. Finally, “Technology Drivers” depend to the greatest extent on their own technical expertise to develop attractive products and services.