There's no better reason to have more than a few minds working overtime than your business being in a fast-moving market. New York City-based Warp Solutions Inc., which uses its proprietary technology to aid in the distribution of content on the Web, expects $6 million in 2001 revenue. Because demand for this relatively new technology is high, innovation is a must.
"The demand for increased functionality is quite high--functionality that doesn't even exist," says Karl Douglas, 38, co-founder with John Gnip, 32, and Lenny Primak, 26. "So you have to have an environment that's very entrepreneurial, down to the developers that create the technology itself." Since its start in December 1999, Warp has paid engineers $10,000 for successful patent applications. And depending on the technology's revenue potential, stock options may be offered.
Also crucial to Warp's success is the "raw material"--sales and marketing data on customer demand--employees receive. "One of the classic mistakes tech companies make is, they isolate their marketing and technology [people] from each other. We set out to do the exact opposite," says Douglas.
With 70 employees who interact regularly, Warp doesn't need to host innovation fairs. Ideas are voiced freely and heard. Good thing, too, because, says Douglas, "it's the only way to survive."