Will the real innovators please stand up?

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 05 June 2018 9:15 AM CAT

I’m sitting in a conference audience, just last week in fact, listening to a seriously big tech company representative talk to the Vortex of Change. Good talk, loads of stats and facts and much of it, really interesting. But I get home on Friday night, and once I’m a glass of Shiraz down, I’m thinking, that talk had more entrepreneurial innovation than seriously big tech company innovation.

Let’s see. Zipcar was mentioned. Now, Robin Chase, the creator of Zipcar is one of my early disruption gurus. She created a model where peers could lend cars to peers with some smart digital management, way before anyone else. She sold to guess who – Avis, who needed to buy innovation. Zipcar’s innovator – entrepreneur. Airbnb’s innovators – entrepreneurs. Uber’s innovators – entrepreneurs, eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix – all entrepreneurs.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t for one New York minute think that the seriously big tech companies are not innovating. Of course, they are, in medicine, human sciences, energy, climate change and more. What I found fascinating was the need for this seriously big tech company to take to stage leveraging off brand association, that wasn’t theirs.

And here’s the other thing. As the day progressed, we heard more and more from more seriously big tech companies whose language was governed by, ‘this is the seriously big shit we’re doing, so come and see us’.

Well, I have a bit of a newsflash from us entrepreneurial innovators – we are doing some seriously important, hair-on-fire, problem-solving shit. Come and see us!

To all the incredible entrepreneurial innovators out there, don’t live under these shadows. Best case scenario, find ways to collaborate and find ways to have your seriously important shit appreciated and recognised for the value and sweat that built it.

Janice Scheckter, innovator, entrepreneur and more than anything, collaborator. Janice is MD of Indigo New Media. 

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