Article from www.virgin.com
In some ways big business has never been bigger. As Apple surges past an $800bn valuation it’s increasingly clear that a small number of tech companies are monopolising international markets.
But history teaches us that even the largest, most powerful organisations are open to disruption. Blockbuster was riding high when it passed up the chance to buy Netflix for a mere $50m in the year 2000. But just 13 years later the company had shuttered, its business model rendered obsolete by a series of rapid changes in the industry.
Times have changed since then. The concept of ‘disruption’ has been around long enough for big business to be very aware of the risks from upstarts. So instead of treating start-up disruptors as the enemy, it’s clear that it makes more sense for big business to collaborate with newcomers. It’s a symbiotic relationship – you scratch my back, I scratch yours.
Last year, Xpenditure, the paperless expense management company I co-founded, partnered with French multinational Sodexo. An unexpected pairing, perhaps – but in reality, we’re reaping the benefits of combining a scale-up business culture and cutting edge technology with the clout and customer base a large business provides.