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Collaboration, Not Disruption

The Business Model Of The Future

Why re-invent the wheel when you can ride on someone else's wagon? Sure, some of the most amazing discoveries through history were revolutionary: the light bulb, the telephone, the internal combustion engine. But there's only so many revolutions per generation, meaning most of us will have to think a little smaller.

It's less heroic perhaps, but the good news is that it has a lot more chance of making the transition from dream to reality. Because the most successful entrepreneurs are no longer those who throw spanners in the works of existing industries. Instead, the best approach is often to tap into the networks that are already up and running.

The Benefits Of Collaboration

Tesla’s collaboration with both Toyota and Daimler is a good example of how large and small companies can collaborate effectively. They are able to draw on financial support, industry knowledge and production facilities, enabling them to continue to grow and innovate. In return, Tesla offer their research and development services. Daimler and Toyota can benefit from cutting edge innovations that they can incorporate into their own products.

TESLA MOTORS is best known for designing and manufacturing electric sports cars, but the group also manufactures electric powertrains for mature industry players Daimler and Toyota. These two companies invested in Tesla early on (and still have stakes today) allowing them access to the new technology for their own products.

Not Just For The Little Guy

The collaboration model is not just beneficial to smaller companies. As we saw in the previous example; the big, established organisations may have the money and the distribution networks to do what they want quicker, but the pressure is on for both. Rule 1: Small Companies: Ties to an established player can be vital.

In the early days of the smartphone, Apple looked to a British company called Imagination Technologies for that thing that made the iPhone look better than all the other competitors at the time: the ability to swipe your finger across the screen and it looked like you were flipping through pages. Apple has since invested in Imagination Technologies (a designer of mobile graphics chips and other microprocessor technology) and so has Intel. Imagination Technologies has become one of those companies which are in everyone's lives, but no one knows their name. The support of Apple in the hyped-up early days of the iPhone was a major boost for them to achieve this.

Rule 2: Big Companies: Innovate or Die.

David & Goliath need to dance. In her book, "Welcome to Entrepreneur Country" Julie Meyer argues that companies must stop thinking of themselves as stand-alone entities and realise that they are all part of a network with allies and partners.

While the world of business is sometimes seen as "dog eat dog", a quick peek behind the curtain reveals a wealth of opportunities in a world of interconnected companies and synergistic collaborations!

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