British companies demonstrate a follower mentality when it comes to sourcing ideas for digital innovation. They’re pretty insular, preferring to react to what their competitors are doing rather than engage outside their immediate communities to find new digital ideas. In fact, fewer than 10% of UK firms actively engage external business networks – think suppliers, or leaders from other companies/industries – for sources of innovation.
Technology media and telecoms firms have acquired 12.5 million square feet of office space in Central London over the past four years, and that’s equivalent to 15% of the entire stock. This reflects what Knight Frank tags as “seismic changes” within the market as London shifts away from finance and towards the “new digital era”. You see, over the same period financial companies have taken just under 8 million square feet of space, while professional firms such as lawyers and accountants have acquired a mere 5.6 million, writes Root Wilson*.
If you are looking for a lens on the world’s best office interiors, you could do worse than turn to Kontor. The New York-based start-up has a launched its Pinterest-style Kontor website (Kontor is Danish for office) to show off its database of workplace design content. Cue thousands of images of the offices of the likes of Red Bull, Square and Skype. In true social fashion, Kontor users can create collections of images for sharing and follow design firms and brands to keep tabs on their latest updates.
Having seen off a regulatory challenge to its business — apologies ‘social movement’ — from the city of San Francisco, Airbnb is now looking to cosy up to lawmakers. Cue the home-sharing outfit’s newly launched Airbnb Community Compact as part of its ongoing egalitarian mission to ‘expand the economic pie for ordinary people at a time of rising economic inequality’. The compact contains three commitments to help secure home sharing’s future as well as head off regulatory action, with Airbnb pledging to:
While European start-ups enjoy major clustering benefits from being located in the region’s leading innovation hubs, there’s little interconnectivity between those centres. “Apart from personal relationships that [start-up] founders have with friends, there’s no exchange going on at all,” says Florian Meissner, CEO of EyeEm, in the State of European Tech report from Atomico and Slush. “For example, people from London are not systematically coming to Berlin or Stockholm, or wherever, to exchange knowledge. At best, they may pop in for a coffee when they happen to pass through but there is no structure.”
The massiveness of YouTube can blind the marketer to the true innovation of the platform. Yes, 400 hours of content are uploaded every single minute, and devoured by more than 1 billion viewers around the world, but… what YouTube has done is unify all the pieces that made previous social networks attractive and added something new in the shape of access to viewing and publish the most magnetic of media, moving pictures. YouTube found its niche beyond TV by adding community, shared creativity, and an invitation to join the game, argues Ogilvy & Mather/Victorious in the Digital Social Contract report.
While many in fintech have exaggerated ideas of the likely scope and speed of fintech’s impact on financial services, too many incumbents have too few doubts over possible threats to current products and services, believes Gartner research director Rajesh Kandaswamy. He adds that this manifests itself in the incumbent fintech focus being heavily tilted in favor of solutions that augment current products over ones that may cannibalise them.
UK record labels and music publishers invested £497 million in writing and producing new music, signing and developing artists and songwriters, and promoting records in 2014. On a slightly more granular level, we know that they stumped up £178 million of that for A&R and £157.4 million for label marketing and promotion, according to the latest metrics from the BPI and the Music Publishers Association.