Philippe LeBlanc, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Funday Agency
The world does not operate on a static foundation. We need leaders who are not afraid to fail, who have the potential to shake up the status quo and lead change. Time and time again, startups have taken on this responsibility by taking great risks and in turn, pioneering impactful solutions to real world problems – using what they have learned from their past successes to push society forward.
So what is innovation? The word “innovation” is thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? To put it simply, innovation is the process of introducing something new to a specific segment of the market. It’s the act of changing or improving a product or service, or creating a completely new one.
Innovation is crucial for enterprise growth and success. From a startup, it’s what boosts the economy in ways big corporations sometimes fail to achieve. Not because they lack the ability to revolutionize product offerings, solutions and or services but because their business model is set in stone. Today’s startups are agile, based on new ideas and have a thirst for transformation.
Think of it like this, the government’s role is not to be the biggest societal innovator but rather to provide stability. Its job is to ensure we operate on a leveled playing field and to offer security as well as to maintain balance between for-profit and not-for-profit growth. The government does innovate but at a much slower pace. Big corporations follow suit. They have some level of innovation to stay relevant and grow, but their established business models keep them attuned to a singular focus.
On the flipside, this is not the case for startups. One major advantage of a startup is its size. A startup can move much faster in comparison to a large corporation. There is less red tape, people involved at the onset and therefore, shortened approval processes. Ultimately speed, in addition to autonomy, creativity and agility, is one of the biggest strengths of a startup.
Three Ways Start-ups Can Successfully Innovate
Start-ups have the unique opportunity to innovate in three key areas: product design, customer experience, and business process design.
With respect to product design, start-ups have the opportunity to create entirely new products. In today’s world there is so much room for innovation and now with easy access to global markets, the growth of eCommerce and the formation of hyper-niche audiences, there is a customer base for almost every well-crafted product. You do not have to follow trends or what’s popular. You can create something new and groundbreaking. The key is to offer something of value. Products only flourish if they address a need or solve a problem.
As for customer experience, start-ups have the opportunity to innovate with their support teams. Start-ups should work to design a unique but effective onboarding and user experience for their customers. These days, customers expect a seamless process when buying a product or service. They want to be guided along the way. Start-ups can design a customer experience that is efficient and helpful.
Process design is also a crucial part of innovation that can sometimes be overlooked. This may include how a company handles finances, how employees are managed, or how customers are served. Making sure those standard operating procedures are locked in and working well will help the process run smoothly and efficiently.
The downside is that innovation tends to bring about failure. The innovations that do succeed have an incredible opportunity to reap a good return on investment (ROI). According to Failory, 10% of startups fail within the first year and 70% ultimately fail between years two and five. Start-ups will quickly know if their ideas are successful or not. The ones that do succeed tend to have a big impact on society.
The Potential of Utilizing Web3 to Grow
Working ahead of the curve and embracing the innovation and technology surrounding Web3 can be a huge part of future success.
What exactly is Web3?
It refers to a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain. Web3 is the pinnacle of technical innovation and offers a massive opportunity for society to change how it functions, because for the first time, things can actually be more transparent, but still move quickly.
The potential of blockchain and its transparency will aid in removing the corruption that tends to happen behind closed doors. This is something that should spark a major transformation, in the same way the internet created a massive wave of innovation, alongside better customer experiences.
Web3 can potentially deliver on this promise. It has sparked a number of idea-turned businesses to rise, and which are now leading the way for industry-specific change to take place. An example of one of these companies is gmgn supply co, a consumer packaged goods DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). As a start-up we’re learning and finding ways to contribute to this new frontier of innovation. For those that have not yet made the shift to Web3, it’s a good time to become familiarized with the space before it becomes mainstream.
Start-ups are a huge driving factor towards a healthy economy and growth. Statistics reveal that in 2020, small American businesses employed a total of 60.6 million people. This represents almost half of the country’s private workforce. With the onset of the pandemic, the great resignation and the desire to work in the gig economy, the innovation economy is flourishing. A startups’ role in innovation is massive, invaluable and needed to push society forward.