#Asia The surprising reason why Scott Bales wants startups to beware of corporations


The Managing Director of Innovation Labs Asia reveals the threats faced by today’s startups, and what they can do before it’s too late

Scott Bales

At the first day of Echelon Asia Summit 2016, Scott Bales began his speech by comparing between corporation culture and startups culture.

Corporations have always been known for its layers of decision-making process and the tendency to have lack of contact with their own consumers, but the Managing Director of Innovation Labs Asia stated that changes have started to happen.

“We see corporations wanting to behave like startups,” he opened his session at the Create stage.

“[Now the question would be] how can we help them explore the world of innovation? Innovation is something that startups have been doing for decades, but corporations are a bit slug-like in this aspect,” he further elaborated.

He then continued by pointing out the common fear that corporations have let themselves get affected by – the fear of doing something that has never been done before, which often ends up with their inability to innovate.

“If you want to be better, then you should do what 95 per cent of the population wouldn’t do,” he stated.

Also Read: Scott Bales: The time is now, but are you ready?

Bales also explained in his speech the new possibilities that the digital era has brought upon us.

One of the most important possibilities is the fact that knowledge gap between businesses and consumers is only getting smaller, thanks to the abundance of information provided by the Internet.

“Nowadays people can even learn how to calculate risks for insurance from platforms such as Youtube … Later there will be a day when insurance agents and companies will no longer be relevant,” he said.

“We are also going to see more insurance startups coming up,” he added.

Apart from encouraging corporations to embrace innovation, Bales also have some warnings for the startup community.

“This is the threat that startups are facing right now: Five years ago, innovation was barely on the radar, but nowadays 65 per cent of executive boards have made innovation their top five agenda for business strategy,” he warned.

In order to answer this particular challenge, startups need to develop new culture and capability to drive creation of tomorrow, starting from today.

Apart from highlighting the “four Cs of innovation”  –Context, Culture, Capability, and Collaboration– he also emphasized on targetting the right audience.

“Aim to build for early adopters [people who try a new trend or product before it becomes popular] because they can help you build the market. Why? Because they are already aware that there is a problem and they want to solve it,” he concluded.

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