A strategic alliance between companies is an essential ingredient for the successes of a business say several researchers and authors. They urge traditional companies to embrace the digital economy in order to survive and continue succeeding as a business venture. There are pros and cons to collaborations across sectors and different organizational cultures such as large, cumbersome corporations and nimble start-ups.
Often we hear „There's all new world out there“. But what does it mean? For some, like Blockbuster, it means that tomorrow, they will become obsolete. That there is a new sheriff in town and their services are not needed anymore. For others, like Netflix, it means they are up to something big, a game changer. It’s happening every day. We see billion dollar companies emerging from nothing within years or even months, making old titans obsolete. Think Facebook, Skype or Instagram. It took 13 years for TV to get to 50m users, Facebook did it in 3.5 years, and Instagram reached 50m users in just 6 months, so ask yourself: where are you going to be in one year from now?
On paper, it absolutely makes sense why startups and corporations should work together, how they can benefit from each other and how their needs are complementary. In practice, things are a bit more complicated and too often both parties end up disappointed and disillusioned. However, this can be avoided, here’s how.
Cooperation between startups and corporations has numerous benefits for both. It could accelerate startup’s growth and for the corporations, it could be a source of new ideas and new businesses. In the last article I mentioned top 10 burning questions which startups and corporations should answer before they start cooperating. Failing to answer those questions could lead to bigger consequences than lost opportunity. In this article I would like to cover the first, and probably the most important question from the list: “What are your core values and how not to lose them?”
Marriage between big corporations and startups is not a new thing. Companies like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have cooperated with numerous of startups through its existence. Nowadays, we see a lot of non-tech players like Coca Cola, Nike and even New York Times launching their own startup initiatives. Weather they are organizing hackatons or competitions, launching their own incubators, or dedicating serious budget for venture deals, large corporations are more and more present in the startup world. There could be many reasons why they find startups interesting. Some of them want to bring new products and services faster to the market. Other ones want to be up to date with the latest innovations and some of them are even using startups as a PR stunt.
Last week, Tiffany Lathe, Vice President and General Council of Rackspace announced that Rackspace is hiring Morgan Stanley to evaluate multiple inbound offers for acquisiton. Market immediately started to speculate about possible acquirers, AT&T, HP, EMC, Cisco and IBM are among the most prominent suspects. Rackspace, who stores data and manages software for enterprises on remote servers, differentiated itself from competitors, Google or Amazon, by keeping higher prices of its services, while providing superb customer experience to its clients. Combining that with a being second player on the market, just after Amazon's cloud services, it is understandable why Rackspace is now considered as a good acquisition target, by many.
Let’s face it, today, we live inside the Internet. Without it, our modern lives would be almost impossible. We can instantly access all web sites, social networks and content which we are consuming. For that matter, people behind those services are working hard every day to improve our experience of using their services. Net neutrality is a principle, or a set of rules, which are allows, consumers, to access all web content in the same way, with the same speed and usability, it levels the playing field.
In recent months there was a lot of talks about launching different types of incubators, the facilitation of obtaining non-refundable aids with a focus on tech startups and so on.
It is a very wrong and conventional wisdom that the only obstacle to the success of a startup is that initial seed capital that is now apparently easier to get. Many people think if they were able to find that magic several thousand euros for starting the job, everything later would come easy. Unfortunately, very often it is not. I believe that most people, if they would actually get the money, they would be faced with the reality and would ask themselves, "What should I do now?"
Over the past couple of years, we have seen rapid growth in the mobile app market. The reason for that can be found in consumer demand for high speed mobile internet and the increasing penetration of affordable smartphone devices. Telecoms were in an unfavorable position, endangered by fast paced and lean “virtual” competition. Competition which was not bound by regulation, country borders or coverage, and telecoms needed to react fast. Since 2008 when Apple introduced the App Store, telecom operators have tried a number of approaches in how to deal with the threats from OTTs and how to compete with them.