Oren Harari famously said, “the electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of the candle”.
When Uber started disrupting the transportation sector, taxi companies around the world rushed to optimise their service by making apps for on-demand booking. But they all missed the point that Uber was successful, not because of an app, but because it had unlocked new and different sources of supply and that this supply was flexible to match demand, while taxi companies’ weren’t.
Pioneering is fundamentally about the capacity to do different things to lead to new and different outcomes. Pioneers have viewed optimisation as their enemy of and chosen neglected problems to solve, where the rest have just seen unsurmountable barriers. They have entered markets which have been shunned by the rest. It has also been said that pioneering is about escaping from competition rather than fighting it, because competition is about being better and not new and different.
This address will highlight key principles around pioneering and showcase some pioneer stories. The conversation will be controversial; the stories, endless but definitely an attempt to look at new and different ways of approaching our world.