Our world is changing at a rapid pace. So are our habits and tastes. As individuals, our desire to share experiences is greater than ever. We see it in all the new sharing economy businesses. I personally love the sharing economy and the consumer benefits. I love sharing cars, sharing homes, sharing content. And my desire to control and own reduces every day.
Sharing is invigorating and helps us establish our sense of purpose. At Iron, sharing is at the centre of everything we do. We even trade-marked our motto: “We Share, we Grow”.
The next level of sharing is happening across different companies in the form of deep collaborative co-creation. Whether in design or product development, co-creation leads to breakthrough innovations and deeper quality. Each company has a unique skill, a unique DNA, a unique point of excellence, a unique point of view and unique data. Tapping into what makes a company uniquely great is magical. True co-creation enables us to leverage multiple unique competences rather than try to be moderately good at everything.
Too often, we want to co-create but as soon as a project begins or a deal starts emerging, we move back to competitive co-creation, fuelled by “not invented here” syndrome or cynicism.
True co-creation requires humility, a deep open-mindedness, and a profound ability to let go of our locus of control, thus a desire to take risk. Its requires acceptance of failure at all levels and an ability to be exposed on all levels. That’s why it is so difficult.
For European based start-ups to succeed spectacularly; they need to learn this new skill and train all their teams on cross company co-creation. This will be one of my missions across 2016 and 2017 within all my portfolio of companies as an investor, board member and CEO.