Startups … inside giant companies


Phillip Honovich spends his days like any worker at a startup. He tests software, hustles for clients, and collaborates with a nine-person team inside a sleek open-plan office in the tech sector of New York City. Failing fast is encouraged.

But Honovich doesn’t work for a startup. He’s one of 10,000 people employed by MasterCard [fortune-stock symbol=”MA”], which has $9.5 billion in annual revenues. Honovich, 25, planned to work for a young outfit or found his own company after graduation from Manhattanville College three years ago. Instead, 50-year-old MasterCard lured him to help build a platform called ShopThis, which lets people buy products directly from a digital magazine page without leaving the page. It’s one of dozens of mini-companies inside MasterCard Labs’ three-floor New York City office, which opened in September. “It feels just like a startup,” Honovich says.

That’s the idea. In the past two years giant corporations such…

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