Excuse me, but is Cooperation just the Privilege of Startup Companies?

    Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post for the DNA Engine Blog by Jarkko Utriainen

    In late August of this fall, we took part to Midnight Pitch Fest event as a sponsor and as a member of the pitching jury. The event was laidback and the crowd of over a thousand peers was visibly enjoying the atmosphere. In an event as such, where some 70 companies are pitching their varying business ideas and concepts, one is given a good opportunity to see and feel what the Finnish startup-scene is like and especially to the points where we still have room for improvement.

    In Finland selling is not appreciated. A Finnish entrepreneur is a humble, unpretentious and almost asking for forgiveness when she/he is talking about how the product of their beloved company has potential in both the American and the Asian markets. As I recall Alf Rehn stating in his pitch that it should be taught that selling is ok and should not be ashamed to do, at Finnish elementary schools.

    Co-operation amongst startup companies is so natural that few even notices doing it. At events such as the Midnight Pitch Fest, it becomes obvious how well the startups are interconnected. Resources are being interchanged and while concept designing the products and services, the companies are taking others with that are aiming for the same market.

    Corporations need to dare to listen the “other guys”. Sami Kuusela, aka “the hoodie dude” told a great story about how his pamphlet came about and how it will continue. On the next week, he was meeting, not the “other guys” but rather corporate directors. So, the question is, is it really possible to find a co-operative model between corporations and startups that will produce the better service for their customers?

    If I reach out and look at the situations of several well-known companies from even a higher perspective, I come to the following thought; the startups that have been successful with their business operations and have further grown into corporations, are now challenging the industry’s older corporations knowing that those companies have a hard time competing if the competition needs other than the core knowhow, assets and business models.

    Some examples of those startups grown into corporations include Google, Facebook and PayPal. Local companies that are being challenged by them are obviously frustrated. Telecommunications companies are concerned about their voice, sms and tv-services, media companies about their printed media and add sales, financial institutions about their payment services. How have they then reacted to this? Several of them have not reacted in any other way than concentrating on competing against fellow companies within the market more intensively. Does someone actually think that the problem is solved with intense (price) competition? I don’t think so.

    I’m not going to be embarrassed although I’m trying to sell my point to you.  Would it be possible for us corporations, to aim for a situation, where companies across industry boundaries would take lessons learned from the “other guys” and would start to consider where we could co-operate and by doing so, answer the pressure of those former startups grown into global ecosystems?

    About DNA Engine

    DNA Engine is a blog driven by innovations, startups and DNA’s continuous search for leading-edge partnerships. They enjoy seeing companies which are continuously coming up with new innovative products and services that shape their way of using technology. They blog about their own insights on mobile handset ecosystems, innovation-driving companies and ICT phenomena, but also invite interesting guest bloggers to share their views.