Fear not the startup, but the cashed-up company behaving like one

April 26, 2018 Chris Riddell

Fear not the startup, but the cashed-up company behaving like one

Businesses of yesterday are reinventing themselves

In recent years, startups around the world have disrupted the business models of established organisations almost overnight.

Think Airbnb, Uber and Lemonade.

I was recently the opening keynote for a Technology Leadership event in New Zealand for cloud services specialists Umbrellar. Whilst I was there, I got to chat to the team, and talk about how business reinventing itself is more than just about technology. It’s a deep transformation where everything is up for being challenged, including culture.

Here is the article from CIO Magazine where I share my latest insights on what true transformation actually means.

Old world organisations are fighting back and reinventing themselves to prepare for the future, according to technology futurist and digital evangelist, Chris Riddell.

“When big companies behave like startups, we are going to see a new wave of disruption,” Riddell said at the inaugural Umbrellar Live event in Auckland recently.

Riddell said organisations that are disrupting are those that are cash heavy, citing Amazon’s purchase of US supermarket chain Whole Foods as an example. The impact of this acquisition on the American retail market was instant, he said.

Meanwhile, the prediction that the global retail banking system was going to collapse with the arrival of fintechs and technologies such as blockchain is not true, according to the futurist.

“It is the established retail banks, the ones that find out how to be agile and behave like a startup, and behave like an entrepreneur – they are the ones that will win in that industry.”

Size matters in this new environment, he said.

“We used to have lots of choice and more competition, we are rapidly moving to a world where category kings rule,” he said. In search, the only company that matters is Google. In social media, the dominant company is Facebook.

“Velocity is the game changer. Speed is the new disruptor in our world. Your ability to reinvent businesses now on the fly, and keep adapting it to market conditions will define your relevance ahead. The future is not an extension of the past, it’s the reinvention of everything we see today,” said Riddell.

You can read the rest of the article on the CIO website here.


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