Many countries and industry sectors are heading into the most turbulent environment seen in the last century. Three simultaneous industrial revolutions, dramatic increases in competition, huge fiscal imbalances, growing geopolitical tensions and a fractured social contract are combining to create a veritable smorgasbord of risk and uncertainty.
The hurricane is gathering force and stormy weather lies ahead.
Yet these same factors also imply that this will be the best possible environment for strong businesses to outperform. How can you make the most of this opportunity?
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Most of the first wave of tech unicorns and start-up billionaires were B2C businesses. The likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook started out by solving problems for people, rather than for companies (even if the latter two ended up making most of their revenue from corporate customers).
As a result, the technology landscape has changed massively for consumers over the last 15 to 20 years – arguably much more so than it has the workplace. But dramatic changes are afoot. There is huge excitement about the potential of B2B tech companies to have a transformational impact on many aspects of business. Massive amounts of capital are flowing into a new breed of start-up, focused around the tech hubs that have emerged over the last couple of years. A host of new buzzwords has been created - FinTech, HealthTec, AgTech, MediaTech and the like. Early starters like Palantir, Tableau and WeWork have created huge value for their shareholders. And at the other end of the alphabet, Australia’s Atlassian demonstrated that this can be achieved without the need for much external capital at all.
But the barriers to B2B success are huge. Read on... for our take on the 12 pre-requisites for success as a would-be B2B unicorn.