Incumbents make a mistake by viewing fintech startups as the enemy

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The relationship between startups and big companies is often perceived as adversarial – with many consumers and corporations believing startups own a monopoly on innovation.

We would like to argue this perception, however, as we believe it’s possible for all types of companies to live in tandem and ultimately, benefit from this new business ecosystem.

Industry disruption is overall, driving better outcomes for customers. Netflix for example, started as a DVD-by-mail rental business, and has quickly sparked innovation in many industries. It has forced traditional tv-producers to improve their content, media companies to innovate on how they advertise, movie theater to invest heavily to offer a whole different customer experience and the movie industry to change its distribution process. We live in a new world of changing regulations, demand for personalized services and new technology, and businesses that do not prioritize their customers’ wants, needs and access to their products and services might get in trouble.
When we look to successful companies that are swiftly navigating these unknown territories, they all have one thing in common: a smart digital transformation strategy. Companies who are flexible, creative and pay close attention to their customers’ evolving needs are the ones that are efficiently reinventing themselves and demonstrating an understanding of how to fight complacency, experiment productively and ultimately, achieve innovation.

In 2018 and beyond, it’s critical that all companies place an emphasis on the digital opportunities of their business. Whether that means offering a new mobile application, improving UX or experimenting with new protocols or interactions such as distributed ledger technologies, digital components of a business is a company’s best strategy to continue to grow their market share.

Start-ups aren’t automatically or inherently better at innovation. Companies shouldn’t alienate existing or new companies out of principle, but rather invite others to the table and welcome their disruption because it will ultimately force one to improve their own business.

Yes, large companies have a lot to learn from startups as it relates to innovation and more lenient cultures, but they shouldn’t forget that they’ve have had their skin in the game for decades and startups can learn from that, too. With a strong leadership team and access to the right digital transformation tools, all companies can efficiently meet their customers’ needs and ultimately, live in a business ecosystem that thrives off disruption and innovation.

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