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Welcome to the Idea Economy

By Alok Ranjan, Senior Marketing Manager, Avasant

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Alok Ranjan, Senior Marketing Manager, Avasant

In February 2016, Kickstarter - the largest crowd-funding platform, celebrated its 100,000th projects, funding for a visually striking photography project that leveraged a system that didn’t exist seven years ago. Along similar paths, Pebble smart-watch, one of the most successful alternatives to Apple Watch, or Fitbit that tracks daily physical activities and keeps the user motivated, or Gogoro, the electric scooter that aims to transform urban mobility or Hointer, a retail store that is revolutionizing customer experience – all have a thread of commonality that makes them successful. These inventions which were unthinkable a few years ago –didn’t just develop a product or service, but conceptualized a transformative idea that holds the power to shape the future of mankind. It is interesting to note that only 71 firms still exist out of the original 1955 Fortune 500 list, while the others couldn’t generate ideas that could keep them in business.

Welcome to the Idea Economy!

The story of David and Goliath no longer holds true in an Idea Economy where a well-executed and disruptive idea creates an equitable platform for anyone to win. The fall of Kodak, Blockbuster, HMV and Borders are due to bankruptcy of creative ideas that failed to adjust to the market demands. A few years ago, Facebook invested 2 billion in virtual reality - an immersive technology that holds the power to completely change our experiences. Oculus Rift is not a product, but an idea that Facebook could foresee modeling the course of the future. It is shocking to learn that the most highly rated enterprises on earth - Apple, Google and Facebook are no longer the top contenders in 50 smartest companies in the world as ranked by the MIT Technology Review, 2015. They trail behind the most innovative idea originators of modern times - Tesla Motors and Xiaomi.

Drivers of Change

The democratization of technology has led to disruption of business and operating models of both large and small enterprises. The ability to conceptualize and turn an idea into reality fuels new product or service journey with ease. In an Idea Economy, disruption is a way of life and no idea is insured against it. The survival of an enterprise is dependent on their ability to visualize the future, leverage technology and their agility to respond to microeconomic threats.

Technology serves as the backbone that supports an idea in its journey to reality. Using the right tools at the right time creates a world of opportunities for both the startups and large enterprises. Legacy technologies no longer address the need of a connected customer and enterprises are busy transitioning to the new age disruptive technologies that provide a cutting-edge advantage over competition in an Idea Economy.

Winning the Enterprise Game

In an Idea Economy, success is a relative term often reliant on an enterprise’s ability to uphold bold decisions and undertake risks. Infusing agility in business processes, scaling infrastructure to support the new business model, and being flexible to market dynamics are key priorities to reap benefits in an idea economy. It is pertinent for enterprises and startups to acquire right skill in order to survive in a hypercompetitive world. The Idea Economy expects enterprises to follow and imbibe startup culture, which is devoid of organizational and technological silos; risk taking is a cultural norm and the management fully believes in the idea to turn it into a reality.

"We're now living in an Idea Economy where success is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than your competition." - Meg Whitman, Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As Meg Whitman sums up, it is true that in an Idea Economy ignoring business processes and operational challenges are sure shot recipe for disaster, even though a strong technical team backs the product or service idea. Carefully examining the nuances of business and effective execution guarantees a sustainable business idea.

At a time when an idea can spawn itself at a zero cost through the Internet, it is imperative that the time to market is addressed judiciously. As both the enterprises and the startups gain access to the same technologies, success, depends on the agility of enterprises to market. An Idea Economy serves a level field for everyone who is ready to defy the status quo and is important to consistently deliver value to customers to survive disruption.

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