Forward and upward! | Alihankinta
Subcontracting Trade Fair

Forward and upward!

Column  15.08.2019

Start-ups are strategically important engines for technology, business and society development. Curiosity, agility, flexibility and innovation are the superpowers of start-up companies. From the perspective of international competition, our biggest challenge seems to be the lack of imagination – also in start-up companies.

“If the vision contains science fiction, it may be wrong. If the vision does not contain science fiction, it certainly is wrong. ”

Harari[1] describes creating solutions for the future as follows: “If the vision contains science fiction, it may be wrong. If the vision does not contain science fiction, it certainly is wrong. ” By looking into the future moderately twisted, and even with the help of science fiction, you will find opportunities and problems to solve that will create a unique operating environment for the start-up.

Outliers are the industry and business disruptors. The Outliers are unexpected players that intrude the competition and do not follow established practices. In their early stages, they are typically loosely organized innovative and wondrous activities that, through insights, become an explosive creator of new and a transformer of old. E.g. At first, Google was an Outlier with its single-line search engine. Examples of Outliers include:

  • BioCurious democratized scientific bioresearch and made it possible to provide high quality research and resources for everyone.
  • Shapeways created a new type of global manufacturing resource and a marketplace for 3D-printed products
  • ZenRobotics developed an efficient robotics recycling system from a circular economy basis that disrupts the competing methods

A potential strategy for a start-up company is to be an Outlier. The Outlier thrives and walks in the fringes of business that attracts the mainstream, on the horizon, and looks at the changing landscape of possibilities from a divergent perspective. The Outlier seeks strategic innovation, and aims to disrupt current operations through breaking the vision, business model, or boundaries. A start-up can thus also be the best innovation partner for a large company.

Suggestions for kick starting a start-up company to succeed

1. Strong vision work, imagination and thinking using science fiction.
2. Partnerships, building the business with others.
3. Bold objectives!

I wish for the participants of the Subcontracting Trade Fair the explosive power and strength to create new, and the entire manufacturing industry open-minded and world-changing visions!

Ultreia e suseia!  (Forward and upward, a Spanish greetings for those walking the Camino de Santiago)

Pekka Ketola
CEO of Ideascout Oy

  • [1] Harari, Y. U. 2018. 21 lessons for the 21st

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