‘Beat the Unicorn’: inspiring stories about innovative entrepreneurship

When you consider the stories about start-ups and unicorns like Amazon, Airbnb and Uber, you could almost think that the traditional, big companies have lost their innovative power. The book ‘Beat the Unicorn’ shows that the opposite is true. In it, 15 organisations – including Schiphol, Suzuki Motor, VodafoneZiggo and Tauw – explain how they deal with innovation and entrepreneurship in a rapidly changing market. It is a collection of stories full of lessons learned and inspiration for successful entrepreneurship.

At the end of 2017, Jasper Schmeits, innovation manager at Tauw, came into contact with KTC, which wrote the book and is a consultancy in the field of strategic design and innovation. Jasper: ‘What is very recognisable is that business development is being looked at in the same way from very different market segments. We all recognise the need to embrace digitisation in order to remain competitive in the future. Each story is inspirational in its own way. I am proud to have had the opportunity to be part of this beautiful collection.’

In his story ‘Atychiphobia: The Fear of Replacement’ Jasper relates his experiences with the innovation process on a day-to-day basis. With technical developments following each other in quick succession, it is no longer a question of whether innovation is necessary, but of how quickly we need to implement these kinds of changes. How do you get from idea to successful product, how does the innovation process work, and how fast does it need to be? He talks about timing, expertise, vision and perseverance; four key elements essential for successful innovation. But also about the resistance he meets when he implements these innovations.

Curious about his and the other stories? You can find the book here.


Check Jasper’s blog series on innovation:
- Beat the Unicorn: Atychiphobia
- Internationalisation is all about the big picture
- Sensor development indispensable for achieving circular economy objectives
- It’s no longer possible to imagine our field of work without ‘Toys for Boys’
- Is the government destroying our knowledge economy?

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