Interview Transcript

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions around corporate innovation?

Treating a start-up as a regular supplier and thinking it works the same way. A company that’s been around for 50 or 100 years, they don’t understand that a start-up might not exist tomorrow, and they live from day to day. They cannot say, “Let’s talk in one year,” because in one year, they might not exist. This is the usual misunderstanding — how does a start-up think differently from us? What are their main focuses and red lines compared to us as a big conglomerate?

The second misconception is thinking a start-up cannot add value to the organisation because you’ve been doing something the same way for the last 100 years. That is the exact way to fail because, if you continue doing the same thing, eventually, others will find better or more efficient ways to do it. If you don’t have you ear to the ground, see the new ideas out there, find out how to implement and work with them, you’ll be left out of the game, no matter how big you are. History is filled with companies that thought they knew better than everyone else and don’t exist now. You can learn a lot, even from start-ups, and you have to be more open to that.

The biggest misconception is, “I’m the biggest conglomerate, everyone will want to work with me.” I get this a lot. There are big companies competing with you, all saying the same thing. A start-up can work with one or two, so why should they choose you? What is the added value you’re giving them? The ecosystem has changed where it’s more customer-centric, so now, working with start-ups is more start-up-centric. Start-ups have the ability to choose. Just because you’re a big company doesn’t mean they’ll go with you. They need to choose the best ones for them.

Sign up to test our content quality with a free sample of 50+ interviews