Gamechangers Book by Peter Fisk
Across the world, new ideas, new businesses and new solutions are transforming every market. “Gamechangers” think and act differently. They innovate every aspect of their brand and marketing.
From Alibaba to Zipcars, Ashmei to Zidisha, Azuri and Zynga, a new generation of businesses are rising out of the maelstrom of economic and technological change across our world. These are just a few of the companies shaking up our world.
Gamechangers are disruptive and innovative, start-ups and corporates, in every sector and region, reshaping our world. They are more ambitious, with stretching vision and enlightened purpose. They see markets as kaleidoscopes of infinite possibilities, assembling and defining them to their advantage. They find their own space, then shape it in their own vision. Most of all they have great ideas. They outthink their competition, thinking bigger and different. They don’t believe in being slightly cheaper or slightly better. That is a short-term game of diminishing returns.
We asked 1000 business leaders to nominate the companies who they believe are creating the future in each different sector. The top 100 innovators are big and small, spread across every sector and continent, from Asia to the Americas, finance to fashion. And then we wanted to understand what they did differently. They range from well known innovators like Amazon and Apple – the magic Dash buttons creating a direct link between consumer and brands, the ecosystems that go beyond devices – to new brands like Brazil’s Beauty’in fusing the world of food and cosmetics, or even Zespri redefining the obscure Chinese gooseberry as the superfood Kiwi fruit.
They capture their higher purpose in more inspiring brands that resonate with their target audiences at the right time and place, enabled by data and technology, but more through empathetic design and rich human experiences. They fuse digital and physical, global and local, ideas and networks. Social media drives reach and richness, whilst new business models make the possible profitable. They collaborate with customers, and partner with other business, connecting ideas and utilising their capabilities. They look beyond the sale to enable customers to achieve more, they care about their impact on people and the world, whilst being commercially successful too.
As they say in the GoogleX moonshot factory, in seeking to reinvent everything from automotive to healthcare, “Why be 10% better, when you could be 10 times better?”
10 big ideas emerge from the analysis of the 100 leading innovators, 10 significant ways in which they have changed the way they work, 10 way they have changed the game in their market, 10 ways for you to rethink your business:
Peter Fisk introduces his new ” Gamechangers” book, explaining who it is for, why he wrote it, and what he hopes it will enable you to achieve:
Peter Fisk explains why every business needs to rethink its markets, to find its space in a fast-changing world, and has to the opportunity to shape its future in its own vision:
Peter Fisk shares both a vision for the future, but also the practical steps to make change happen. Here he gets into the ways in which you can start to rethink, refocus, and reignite your business:
From Alibaba to Zespri, Ashmei to Zidisha, Asos to Zipcars … a new breed of business is rising out of the maelstrom of economic disruption and technological change. In global and dynamic markets, they find their own space. They create the future in their own vision, disruptive and collaborative, purposeful and human, embracing new business models and new mindsets.
In the Gamechangers book we explore 100 disruptive innovators. You will find all 100 case studies in the book, many of which you can follow as realtime Case Studies. Below you will find a longer list in each sector which is constantly updated. You can also check out some of the most exciting new entrants in Innovation Radar If you know of others to add, then get in touch. Here’s the longer list:
Futurebank … Changing the game of financial services
In the past, every town centre had its bank, with a queue of people and bars between you and your money. In fact you were lucky to even get there, given that they only opened when everyone was at worked. Even today, most banks still seem antiquated. The next generation of banks, and every type of financial service, do things differently.
- Affirm. Making microloans fast and easy, using social media to profile customers.
- Alior Sync. Poland’s disruptive, self-funded, non-legacy, highly focused bank.
- Aspiration. Using transparency to rebuild trust in banks, with 10% revenues to charity.
- Coinbase. P2P digital currency, that makes Bitcoin user friendly.
- China Unipay. The world’s second largest payment network goes international.
- Commonwealth Bank. Australia’s bank links with partners to enable more.
- Digit. Helping people to save effortlessly “without even thinking about it”
- Ezetap. The Square if India, cashless payments in fast growth markets
- Fidor. Germany’s new mobile bank that sets interest rates on Facebook likes.
- First National Bank. South Africa’s award winning bank with innovative service.
- Handelsbanken Nordic customer-centricity with local empowerment and simple services
- Itau Unibanco. The bank from Brazil that blends physical and digital experience.
- Moven. Brett King’s start-up bank 2.0 that promises to be different.
- M-Pesa. Kenya’s Safaricom turned SMS messaging into a new currency for Africa.
- M-Power. Mobile payments for India’s unbanked
- OCBC. Singapore’s award winning bank with human attitude and experiences.
- Qufenqi. Financing China’s new college kids.
- Robinhood. Making stock trading simple and democratic, an app on your phone.
- Simple. Making money really really simple is the challenge for … Simple.
- Square. Jack Dorsey making so-lo-mo retailing easy, so that every small retailer can be big
- TransferWise. Money without borders – forget exchange rates and commissions.
- Umpqua Bank. “The worlds greatest bank” with funky community stores, t-shirts and caps.
- Venmo. a free digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends.
- Wealthfront. Investment social network
- Zidisha. Peer to peer microfinance, individuals lend to emerging entrepreneurs.
Other finance brands to consider include: La Caixa (bank of the Catalans, innovative retail link with Repsol), Citibank (high-tech banking for GenY), Digital Reasoning (stopping Wall Street rule breaking before it happens), Bank of Inner Mongolia (targeting China’s wealthy mining region), Bank Nizwa (Islamic banking from Oman), North Shore (Canadian bank with boutique lounges), V.Pay (simple mobile payments).
Futurefashion … Changing the game of clothing and accessories
The future of fashion is being transformed by technology. Just consider the potential of big data that pin points trends, to 3D printing that creates new structural designs, and wearable tech that enhances the functionality of clothing. Look at how runways are turned into multimedia, participative experiences whilst shopping malls, both physical and digital that are intelligent and personalised.
- 1Atelier. Personalisation becomes the new luxury, accessories for the 21st century
- Ashmei. The world’s best sportswear design company makes its own brand
- Brunelli Cucinelli. Cashmere from the village of Solomeo.
- Clique Media. Turning fashion advice into retail gold.
- Desigual. Spanish clothing label with the brightest colours around.
- Everlane. Matching clothes to our values.
- Glossier. Beauty brand by Emily Weiss for the Instagram generation.
- Gilan. Ecaquite Turkish jewellery shares Ottoman treasures with the world.
- Hiut Denim. The Welsh jeans company is all about heritage and personalisation.
- Hypebeast. Uniting “sneaker heads” into a lucrative demographic
- Hysteric Glamour. Japanese fashion, inspired by pop and porn.
- Isamaya Ffrench. The London beauty alchemist, seamlessly shifting between beauty and art.
- Jonny Cupcakes. The cool t-shirt business that sells like cupcakes.
- Kit and Ace. Designing luxury casual wear from the very best performance fabrics.
- Lascivious. Agent Provocateur suddenly looks tame. Sexy lingerie rises to another level.
- Lulelemon Athletica. Crowdnamed yogawear, required wear for enthusiasts. And beer too!
- Me Undies. the world’s most comfortable underwear for men and women, or to share.
- Moda Operandi. Designer clothes direct from the runaway, and yours next day.
- Pandora. Danish jewellery brand that enables customisation and collections for millennials
- Patagonia. Clothing to content and community, caring for our outdoor world.
- Paul Smith. Continuing to give fashion a very British twist, especially in Japan.
- Rapha. The ultimate cycle wear, but more importantly a Cycle Club, where people come together.
- Shang Xai. Hermes chooses to give wealthy Chinese their own luxury brand.
- Spinali Jeans. The first internet of things enabled jeans, your legs vibrate to turn left or right
- Threadless. Crowdsourced, crowdselected, limited editions, on and offline.
- Tom’s. A pair for kids in Africa with every pair you buy, sustainable and communal
- Triangl. Melbourne to Millenials, designer swimwear marketed by the world’s social influencers
- Under Armour. Outperforming Nike at the Rio Olympics.
- Warby Parker. The coolest eyeware, one for one, that is good for society too.
Other food brands to consider include: AIQ Smart Clothing (Taiwan’s internet of everything senory clothing, with sensors to enable more), Denizen (Levi’s brand for India), Greenbox (in demand children’s label, with Princess range), Li Ning (China’s leading sports brand), Kourage (Kenya seeks to make its own running gear), Outdoor Voices (gym clothes you can wear to work), Rent the Runway (fashion direct from the fashion shows), Shanghai Tang (heritage and modern fusion), Thinx (turning periods into exclamation points!).
Futurefood … Changing the game of food and drink
The future of food is about authenticity and relevance – traceability of supply chains, natural and organic ingredients, convenient and well designed packaging, and fantastic, inspiring taste. It also about the experience, everything from the way meals are created and prepared, delivered and enjoyed. Occasions become a key driver. From food on the go, street food and convenient packaging, to food that is slow, connecting with culture and enjoying life more. As does provenance, both interesting ethnic creations as well as fresh and local.
- Absolut. Pernod Ricard constantly innovating content, package and advertising.
- Aeroshots. Mouth sprayed food with all the nutrition of the physical stuff.
- Ava Winery. Turning water into synthetic wine, including a $50 replica Dom Perignon.
- Bolthouse Farms. Making carrots cool as kids snacks in school vending machines.
- ChefJet. The 3D food printer that makes “Wonka Vision” become a reality.
- Chobani. the 100% fat free yogurt maker is now stiring things up in the grocery store
- Chotokool. India’s Godrej create simple cool boxes for those without fridges.
- Deliveroo. Food delivered to your doorstep by bikes, as fast as a kangaroo.
- Farmers Business Network. Cultivating a new hybrid of data and agriculture
- Gousto. Recipe kit service that delivers all the ingredients and instructions to your door.
- Grameen Danone. Building a brand on a million home-dairies across Bangladesh
- Graze. Healthy snack boxes bought by subscription, delivered to your desk.
- Impossible Foods. Turning plants into the most amazing protein dishes.
- Juan Valdez Café. The best coffee, and coffee shops you can find, from Colombia.
- LA Organic. Philippe Starck transforms Spanish olive oil with his funky design.
- Lewis Road Creamery. New Zealand’s best ice cream and milkshakes
- Lolea. traditional sangria recipe from Spain, packaged and branding to look incredible.
- Mayrig. Cooking up a passion for Armenian culture, in Beirut to Dubai
- Moa Beer. Super premium beers from New Zealand, with very creative IPO
- Modern Meadow. Slaughter-free food and leather to make life more “cultured”
- Nespresso. Great coffee, but even better business model based on desire for pods
- Red Bull. Inspired to create the energy drinks category, inspiring with its media house.
- Rocket Brewing. The Copenhagen brewery that created Problem Solver Beer at a premium.
- Sweetgreen. Salad maker with a cult following, from kids education to summer festivals.
- The East India Company. Recreating the exotic luxuries of empire.
- The Kitchen. Creating home in the city, plus Kitchen Community and Kitchen Gardens.
- Yeni Reki. Turkey’s heritage drink, move of a way of being, spreading afar.
- Zespri. Nothing tastes as zesty as New Zealand’s premium branded kiwi fruit.
- Zico Water. Inspiring the coconut water craze, by virally targeting one NYC gym.
Other food brands to consider include: Belu Water (all profits to water charities), Brewdog (beer for punks, from Scotland), La Colombe (consumer safaris to find the best coffee beans), Coisbo Beer (from a Danish policeman’s craft brewery), Corvine (Drink wine without opening the bottle, with a needle-thin device that pierces the cork), Deliveroo (the London-based food delivery service), Innocent (from smoothies to veg pots, trying to stay real), Faasos (online food ordering in India), Hampton Creek (finding new ways of utilizing plants in food products), Laden Gold (Iran’s premium cooking oil and ghee), Pinar Labne (Arabic cheeses made modern), Resy (feeding our desire to be VIP diners), Snow (the world’s largest beer brand, from China courtesy of Diageo), Taco Bell (operating like a tech company), and Vitamin Water (water with vitamins, duh!).
Futurehealth … Changing the game of healthcare and medicine
Through positive wellness and personalised pharma, robotics and genetics, digital applications and patient-centric business models … the future of health is about specialisation and innovation, patient-centric solutions that are faster and more efficient. The fast-changing science is one factor, however far more significant is the convergence of pharma and biotech, insurance and hospitals, physicians and pharmacists … working together to make life better.
- 23 and Me. Profile your DNA for $99 to predict and protect your future health.
- Amgen. Creating a cancer drug out of genetically modified virus without side effects.
- Aprecia. Creating the first 3D printed drugs.
- Aravind. Bringing sight to millions with Skype-doctors and low-cost glasses.
- Colorplast. Innovator in ostomy and urology products, also selling direct to consumers
- CVS Health. Becoming a one-stop health shop, doctors and clinics and pharmacy.
- Cue. Digital medical labs, to do your own diagnostics at home.
- Editas. Genome editing technology into a novel class of human therapeutics
- Epibone. Grow your own bones, using stem cells and a special type of incubator
- Epocrates. Mobile knowledge for doctors redefines decisions and influence.
- Genentech. Forget cheap generics, focus on premium specialist pharmaceuticals.
- Intuitive Surgical. Automating surgery is faster, cheaper and more precise.
- Medtronic. Streaming diabetes care.
- MC10. Tracking patient vital information with an electronic tattoo.
- Narayana Hrudayala. India’s leading cardiology hospital from Dr Shetty.
- One Medical. Rethinking the doctor surgery, and the pharmacy, and medical insurance.
- Organova. 3D printing of muscles tissues, and soon organs for transplant.
- Assure. Making artiifical limbs, and the blades for paralympians.
- Patients Like Me. People share their conditions and solutions, and who to trust.
- PracticeFusion. Online medical records and patient management made easy
- Scanadu. The “Scout” leads the race in digital wearable health monitoring
- Second Sight. Looks like Google Glass, but actually gives vision to the blind.
- Thync. Signaling nerves on the head and neck to act on the brain’s adrenaline system
- Wuxi Pharmatech. China’s outsource drug R&D labs go into low-cost production.
Other health brands to consider include: AssistiveWare (Dutch apps for helping people to speak who can’t), Celmatix (forecasting fertility), Corgenix (speeding up the Ebola test), Daktari 1525 (the latest initiative from Africa’s Safaricom, providing mobile doctor support at low price call rates), Emerald Therapeutics (Building a big-data testing lab in the cloud), Enteromedics (Disrupting the signals between the brain and stomach to fight obesity), Esri (geo-mapping the world’s health risks), Headspace ($100 app for mindfulness), GE Healthcare (Logiq mobile ultrasound scanner, takes healthcare to the bedside or field of play), HealthTap (instant answers online), John Hopkins Applied Physics Labs (building the bionic man), Life Technologies (faster, cheaper genetic sequencing), Lybrate (crowdsourcing solutions to India’s shortage of doctors), MapMyGenome (the 23andMe of India), Mount Sinai (predicting the role of genes in immunology), Novocure (Attacking tumours with electricity), PillPack (clever alerts to remind customers to take their medication), Target (Creating branded generics, wellbeing clinics and healthcare for everyone), and UrbanZen (Donna Karan’s wellbeing spaces in city centres).
Futuremakers … Changing the game of manufacturing
The future of manufacturing is about focusing less on products and more on customers, adding more value to their experiences. In global markets, where distance is irrelevant but still exists, it is also about efficiency, of borderless supply networks and on-demand delivery speed. It is about innovation, creating and making, of products and business models, personalisation, and finding ways where less is more in a resource-constrained world.
- 3DHub. Find a local 3D printer near you, building a new community of makers.
- BASF. Germany’s “chemical company” fuses industry and life sciences.
- Bjarke Ingels Group. The Danish architects are reimagining urban landscapes in great style.
- Corning. The future is glass, with an inspiring vision of making life better.
- Danfoss. Making low energy heating and air conditioning for future cities.
- DSM. From better science to better living, the Dutch giant cares about people.
- Dyson. From bagless cleaners to double tub washers and bladeless fans
- Embraer. Brazilian executive jets with the business model to make it possible
- Essilor. Low-cost, premium glasses production from France.
- GE. Becoming market makers with “brilliant machines”
- Hyundai. Augmenting cars with gesture-controlled heads-up displays.
- Janicki Bioenergy. Turning human waste into drinking water.
- Local Motors. Personalised car designs, everyone made to order.
- Lumio. Jakarta to Kickstarter, Techshop to MoMA, the beautiful light book.
- Planetary Resources. Asteroid mining becomes a reality.
- Rethink Robotics. Bringing precision to robotic automation.
- Shapeways. The future of 3D printing just got accessible to everyone.
- Space X. Commercial space travel with a focus on replacing NASA.
- Syngenta. Creating the world’s future foods, through biosciences.
- Tata. India’s industrial power, from Tetley Tea to Range Rovers.
- TechShop. Collaborative workshops to use in inner cities, fully equipped, pay per hour
- Tesla. Faster, sexier than a Ferrari, with a carbon-free 1000 km fuel cell.
- Quarzazate. The world’s largest solar farm in Morocco, ready to power Europe.
Other manufacturing brands to consider include: BYD (China’s electric car maker, backed by Buffett), Dacia (Renault has reinvented Romania’s car business as stylish low-cost alternatives), DP World (ports and logistics in the desert), Ford (e-bikes and ride sharing), Iberdrola (Spain’s leading renewable energy business), Mini (BMW continue to innovate quirky funky cars), Petrobas (Brazil’s oil giant caring for the world).
Futuremedia … Changing the game of content and media
The future of content and media is perhaps one of the most important and exciting categories in which “gamechangers” are being most disruptive. Coursera, for example, by providing global access to the world’s best education, can transform lives everywhere. PledgeMusic allows any one of us to create that rock band of our dreams, with a fan base. Of course, it can seem like media is all about technology, but tech is simply the enabler of relevant and engaging content, more personal and convenient access, and more practical and valuable application.
- Al Jazeera. Qatar’s satellite news network giving a different perspective on a changing world.
- BuzzFeed. Shaking up the world’s media with fast topical news and insights.
- City Football Group. Reinventing the football club, from Manchester to Yokohama.
- Coursera. The best content from the best universities available to everyone.
- Crystal. This is you, based on everything you have ever done online. It will surprise you!
- Disney Pixar. Inspiring humanity through the power of storytelling.
- Facebook. Building communities around brands that are more than fan clubs.
- Fan Dual. Making sports more exciting everyday, with online games connecting global fans.
- Future Publishing. Innovative magazines and digital, especially “fan packs”
- InMobi. Making mobile ads you actually want to watch.
- Instagram. Social photo-sharing phenomenon snapped up by Facebook.
- Jaunt. Becoming the world’s first virtual reality media company.
- Magic Leap. “It’s like dreaming” … bringing virtual reality to life.
- Midroll Media. Transforming podcasting from passion to phenomenon.
- Netflix. Giving unexpected audiences the content they really want, on demand.
- OneWeb. Global internet access for everyone.
- Periscope. From Gezi Park riots to $100m, the live streaming app for social justice.
- PledgeMusic. “Direct to fans” business model launching the coolest rock bands.
- RiotGames. Creating the future of e-sports, like League of Legends.
- Supercell. The Finnish tablet-centric gaming business that is breaking all the rules.
- Snap. Creating an addictive next generation of communication. And then its gone.
- Spotify. Accessing digital music with innovative freemium business model.
- Ushahidi. Kenya’s crowdsourced news channel, also to monitor human rights
- Vice Media. Media for millennials – their topics, their language, their platforms.
- WeChat. The fastest growing messaging app from China, bigger and better than WhatsApp!
- YouNow. Making live streaming video personally lucrative.
Other media brands to consider include: 16StringJack (inspiring action with comic outrage), A24 (creating ads as edgy as the best movies), Banjo (on the pulse of whats happening), Eventbrite (using RFID bracelets to make event ticketing a breeze), FanDuel (online sports fans), Hudl (mobile video for sports fans), Light Chaser (the Pixar of Asia), Louis CK (crowdsourced comedy), Mailchimp (marketing for little guys), MindCandy (No stopping the Moshi Monster makers who found a sweet spot), Mundofox (American TV for hispanic communities), Rovio (Angry Birds, enough said!), RedBull Media House (space jumps and air races, the future of advertising), Tokyo Shimbum (making newspapers fun for kids with phones), Tinder (dating, and relationships, will never be the same again), WordPress (Everybody can express themselves), Zeebox (putting entertainment in your hand, on your phone or tablet), ZeroLatency (immersing players in a viral reality zombie-filled world), Zynga (the gamesmaker behind Farmville, and most of Facebook’s revenues).
Futureproduct … Changing the game of consumer products
The future of products is about human-centric design concepts that enable people to achieve more, emotionally and functionally, bringing together the best ideas and technologies through embedded intelligence and human-centred design, personalised and enabling experiences, building communities and movements.
- Apple. Devices to business model, transforming music, publishing and more.
- Beats. Will.i.am and friends create the coolest, most expensive headphones
- Birchbox. From samples to launching its own sweat-proof make up line.
- Brooklyn Superhero Supplies. From AntiGravity Juice to Kryptonite by the tin.
- Casper. The world’s best mattresses, making money from your sleep better.
- DJI. Leading the consumerisation of drones, the indispensable way to take photos.
- Dollar Shave Club. “Our blades are f**king great” … by subscription.
- Dr Bronner’s. Magic soaps, a marketing creation, connecting heritage and humanity.
- E-Cloth. The nano tech cloths clean better, and without the need for detergents
- Freitag. Extraordinary bags from the Swiss design brothers.
- GoPro. Mini camera to go anywhere – on your head, bike, boat, drone, ski.
- Ipsy. Michelle Phan reinvents the beauty industry.
- La Prairie. Extravagant skincare (including “skin caviar”) with the fusion of science, art and luxury.
- Lego. The plastic bricks that built Toy Pad, and a community of online dream makers
- Method. Homecare products with funky designs, and good for the world.
- Natura Cosmetica. Brazil’s leading organic cosmetics brand goes global.
- Nike+. Going beyond shoes and apparel, to become a digital content business.
- Nintendo. From social gaming with Wii, to the next generation of user interfaces.
- Oculus Rift. The virtual reality headset redefines the market for immersive gaming.
- OLPC. Educating the world’s poorest children with low-cost, durable laptops.
- Pebble. The crowdfunded smartband, putting your brain onto your wrist.
- Philosophy. Inspirational skincare brand that gives people hope and confidence.
- Renova. Rethinking tissue and toilet paper, starting with black, or purple or red.
- Tumi. Premium luggage with in-built lost and found, and fastpass travel systems.
- Vinaya. The millennial entrepreneur who thinks human first, tech second.
- Vipp. Everyday products from rubbish bins to toilet brushes and Lady Gaga costumes!
Other product brands to consider include: Huawei (smartphones and tablets), Jawbone (wearable tech leader, intelligence to do more, looks good too!), Tatcha (Chinese cosmetics for the western consumer).
Futurestore … Changing the game of retail
From Amazon to Etsy, ZaoZao and Zappos … through branded boutiques and online marketplaces, digital walls and mobile marketing, big data and personalised promotions … what is the future of retailing, in general, and for your business?
- 77 Diamonds. The real thing, even as an online retailer.
- Amarex. Enabling localised delivery and customer support (where Amazon doesnt go).
- Amazon. Relentless innovation of online retail, Marketplace, Dash and own brands.
- Asos. Time for millennials to go on a virtual-reality shopping spree.
- Aussie Famers. Fresh, fast food delivered to your home with their innovative AisleOne app.
- Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. A gallon of gravity, a can of x-ray vision.
- Ekocycle. Will.i.am’s collaboration with Coke (Ekoc) to recycle plastic bottles.
- Etsy. The innovative online marketplace for small craftsmen and traders.
- Farfetch. Bringing together 300 of the best designer boutiques into one place.
- Flipcart. Building a portal for international brands to reach Indian consumers.
- Flying Tiger Copenhagen. Previously known as Tiger, full of quirky everyday items.
- Greenbox. China’s leading kids fashion retail, growing through affinity partners.
- Inditex. Fast fashion from La Coruna to Bershka, Mango and Zara, and Lefties.
- Le Pain Quotidien. Belgian food and coffee bowls, buts Starbucks to shame.
- Pinterest. Moving on from image galleries, to making pins virally shoppable.
- Positive Luxury. The blue butterfly sign of sustainable product for sale.
- Rewardstyle. Giving social influencers a must-have accessory.
- Shopify. Creating the “buy buttons” for social media and supporting retailers to deliver.
- Rackuten Ichiba. Huge online shopping mall selling everything Japanese.
- Sonae. Portugal’s leading retailer focuses on “improving life” to go beyond its stores.
- Target. Stores became innovation labs, rethinking brands and shopper experiences.
- Trader Joe’s. The quirky, healthy neighbourhood stores taking over USA.
- Uniqlo. Japan’s multi-coloured fashion retailer, targeting the new middle classes.
- Zao Zao. Chinese fashion retailer that matches consumers with designers.
- Zappos. Happiness is a new pair of shoes, at least for the world’s women.
- Zilok. Rent anything you need, near you. Poster child of collaborative consumption.
Other retail concepts to consider include: Aberchrombie and Fitch (the fading temple of youth, but still an immersive experience for each target audience), GreyOrange (reinventing automated warehouses distribution in India), Groupon (crowdbuying, but maybe a fad?!), Kiva Systems (more warehouse robots), Mary’s Living and Giving Shop (charity that does more for you), Loggi (same day service for shippers and couriers), OpenSky (celebrity curators), Pinkberry (frozen yogurt), Polyvore (online aggregator), Prada (fusing digital experiences in boutique stores), Quidco (making online shopping more rewarding), Shopify (set up your own store), Yihaodian (Chinese virtual retail, seeking to be number one), Zendesk (predicting when customers will get angry).
Futuretech … Changing the game of technology and communications
The future of technology is about fusing the best technologies and partners to create infrastructures and platforms that enable brands and people to do more. The difference between commercial success and failure for the brands that embrace these opportunities will be the same as the value drivers of today’s technologies. They are design, connectivity and intelligence.
- 3D Robotics. Leading the development of robots who think and do more.
- Affectiva. Measuring emotions through facial cues from MIT’s Media Lab
- Alibaba. The digital infrastructure connecting every business across the world.
- Alphabet. Betting bigger from search and services, and Google X moonshots
- ARM. Licensed microprocessor design for Apple, Samsung and most others.
- Baidu. China’s largest search engine, but intent on becoming a services company
- BBK Electronics. Igniting new smartphone markets.
- Bharti Airtel. Indian mobile telecoms seeks to connect Africa too.
- Bossa Nova. Robotics with artificial intelligence, to check stocks and much more.
- Chamtech. Spray on wi-fi creates billions of walking network connections.
- Dalian Wanda. Creating its own dream factory.
- Dropbox. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and “never lose a file again”.
- GE. Reimagining business, lean and green, with the Internet of Things
- Giff Gaff. Crowdsourced mobiles that get cheaper the more your participate.
- IBM. Computers to consulting, IBM raised its game with “Smarter Planet”
- OneWeb. Collaborating to create unlimited global broadband with 700 satellites.
- Rackspace. The future of computing, or at least data, up in the cloud.
- Raspberry Pi. Cute, tiny, powerful computer for $35 teaching kids to code.
- Samsung. South Korea’s Apple challenger, applies its tae-kuk to the galaxy.
- Slack. Work collaboration software, changing the way organisations work.
- Tencent. Chinese innovator, building the world’s largest social network.
- Universal Robotics. Creating robotic arms for the world’s workplaces.
- VMK. Africa now has its own brand of smartphones and tablets, made in China.
- Xiaomi. China’s answer to Apple, selling 300,000 MiPhones on day one
Other tech brands to consider include: Gogo (wifi for the world’s airlines), Illumination Entertainment (creating a monster from a Minion), MySQL (opensource software), Nvidia (powering the future), Open Whisper Systems (secure communications), Pinterest (the social media of anything interesting), Ring (smart home security), SolaRoad (solar-panel roads), SolChip (the battery that never dies), Sun Electric (Solar rooftops in Singapore), Vivint (smart home).
Futuretravel … Changing the game of travel and hospitality
In a more connected world, we want and need to travel more. Whilst the world has shrunk through communications, that also drives the lust for more distant adventure, and the interconnectedness of business. More dramatic innovations will transform travel over time – from the customisation of experiences around the traveller, to business models with new revenue streams from subscription to sponsorship – from the biological sequencing of body clocks and time zones, to the hypersonic space hops promised by Virgin Galactic, or the city hops of Hyperloop.
- Aeromobil. The Slovakian flying car, that looks like a supercar, then really flies!
- Air Asia. The world’s fastest growing, low-cost, premium service airline.
- Airbnb. Got a spare room in your home, this is the way to make some money.
- ALoft. Finally WHotels realises that people want hotels more like home.
- BeMyGuest. Taking Asian travellers off the beaten path.
- CitizenM. The iPod of hotels, click to check in, multifunction sleeping, communal eating.
- El Bulli. Breaking the rules of gastronomy, beyond the world’s best restaurant
- Embraer. Brazilian executive jets, for her by the minute. How to really impress your friends.
- Emirates. The global airline with the world’s best hub in the desert.
- Future Faraday. The next generation electric supercars trying to make Tesla look ordinary.
- Generator. Making youth hostelling hip for millennials.
- Goodwings. Danish travel agency that makes the world a better place, to visit
- Hyperloop. The open source ultra-fast travel concept, LAX to SFO in 20 minutes?
- Jumeriah. Dubai’s 7 Star hotel chain grows globally with premium service.
- Kulula. South Africa’s low cost airline with a hilarious sense of humour.
- LATAM. Bringing together two airlines to serve South America’s new markets.
- Mayrig. Fantastic restaurant cooking all things Armenian, the talk of Beirut.
- Momondo. Online travel booking site, with ideas, guides and a voice to make you think.
- NuTonomy. The world’s first self driving taxi service, from Singapore.
- Pipistrel. Slovenia’s electric planes could revolutionise clean short-haul air travel.
- RedBus. Embracing technology to make sense of India’s million bus routes.
- SpaceX. Elon Musk’s reusable rockets have gained the trust of NASA, and heading for Mars
- SurfAir. The Netflix of the skies takes off across Europe, executive travel for Euro 2500/month.
- Uber. Connecting drivers and riders together, and then more, UberEats, UberMoto etc
- Virgin Galactic. Astronauts everyone, but the real game is inter-continental travel.
- Waymo. Alphabet’s self-driving car division is set free to shape the fast emerging market
- Zipcar. Join up, rent a car per mile or minute. Why did you ever own one?
Other travel brands to consider include: Ace Hotels (the world’s coolest hotels), Backbid (reverse auction for the cheapest hotel room), BlaBlaCar (more sharing), BlueOrigin (another space venture, another billionaire, this time by Jeff Bezos), Buzzcar (collaborative car sharing, from the founder of Zipcar), Cinnamon (new concept for the new Indian middle classes), Didi Kuaidi (outsmarting Uber in China), Etihad (Qatar’s airline), Indigo Hotels (IHG’s mid-market, urban format), MyBar (crowdsourced Lebanese entertainment brand), LeEco (connected bicycles), Niu (turning scooters green and cool in China), Oktogo (taking Rusian travel bookings online), Room 77 (always getting the best seat on the plane), Sunfire (making e-diesel from water and air), Terrafugia (another flying car!), Travel Noire (a community of African America globetrotters) and TripTemptation (inspiring stories of the world’s best destinations).
This is a constantly changing list – of the most innovative companies who really are shaking up markets, creating new visions of the future, breaking the rules, changing the game.
For the latest, most innovative concepts see InnovationRadar and Business Incubator
Chapter 1. Are you ready?
“Moonshots” are the incredible, seemingly impossible, ideas that can change our world.
Google X is a moonshot factory. Full of creative thinkers, optimists, seeking out the big opportunities and most challenging problems, that with a little imagination and a lot of innovation might just make our world a better place. From intelligent cars to augmented vision, the [X] team fuses tech possibility with human need, to create more audacious, inspiring futures.
This is how we move forwards.
From Galileo’s vision to Da Vinci’s mechanics, Ford’s cars to Bell’s phones, Apple’s devices to Dyson’s cleaners. They enrich society, and make life better. Markets emerge out of new possibilities, seeing things differently, thinking different things. Brands capture big ideas, innovation turns them into businesses, and future growth.
We live in the most incredible time.
Days of exponential change and opportunities limited only by our imagination. A world where impossible dreams can now come true. A period of awesomeness. From Alibaba to Zespri, Ashmei to Zidisha, Azuri and Zipars, a new generation of businesses are rising out of the maelstrom of economic and technological change across our world.
“Gamechangers” are more ambitious, with stretching vision and enlightened purpose. They see markets as kaleidoscopes of infinite possibilities, assembling and defining them to their advantage. Most of all they have great ideas, capturing by brands that resonate with their target audiences at the right time and place, enabled by data and technology, but most of all by rich human experiences. Social networks drive reach and richness, whilst new business models make the possible profitable.
Our challenge is to make sense of this new world, to embrace the new opportunities in innovative ways, and to be a winner.
What’s your game?
Branson flashed his trademark grin, flicked his shaggy maverick hair.
“Business is like the best game you could ever imagine”
We talked about his multi-billion dollar investments in financial services, media and telecoms, airlines and space travel. He described his responsibility to hundreds of thousands of staff, and millions of customers.
And he was calling it a game.
He was having fun now, challenging the notions of conventional strategies and structures, especially in the biggest companies. The essence of Virgin, he said, is to do things significantly different and better.
He talked about his admiration for kids, and for the next generation of entrepreneurs, especially those in fast-growing markets who have hunger and passion, and was inspired by iconic revolutionaries, Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs.
“You’ve got to think different, uninhibited like a child, never give up, have an ambition that you really care about, take more risks, be ingenious, make a bigger difference to people’s lives, have incredible fun, but also play to win.”
I asked him what keeps him going. “Doing things different, unexpected and a bit crazy” he said. “It’s about playing the game. But the best way to win is to change the game”.
Whilst he says he’s not too old for an all-night party, Branson loves a game of tennis, and that’s after he’s swum for an hour each morning along the coast of his own Neckar Island.
From his earliest venture, launching a student magazine, he would always do things differently. He launched his first airline with no knowledge of the travel industry, but he had a big idea, to provide low-cost travel that was modern and fun. And he had a brand that at least some people loved. He could see an opportunity to disrupt the market, to be on the customer’s side. When he launched mobile phones, he piggy backed on somebody else’s network, to grow further and faster, and targeted a new generation of consumers.
Even Virgin Galactic, his latest and craziest business, is not all it might seem. He had no experience of space travel. But he got together with glider designer Burt Rutan to do things differently, launching his spacecraft from the back of a mother ship, eventually to be fuelled by his algae farms of the Carribean, hugely reducing costs and carbon emissions, and enabling daily departures and landings.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation is that space is not really the frontier. Branson’s real ambition for Virgin Galactic is inter-continental travel. Imagine a one-hour flight from Rio to Jakarta, or Cape Town to Beijing. It could get a little weightless on the way, but could transform the way we think about the world.
Whilst Branson was still playing, it was already evening in Beijing.
Li Ka-Shing was sitting down to a dinner of his favourite snake soup. The Chaozhou-born, Hong Kong-based chairman of Hutchison Whampoa is the richest man in Asia, worth around $30 billion according to Bloomberg.
Yet he lives a relatively frugal existence, wearing simple clothes and a $50 Seiko watch on his wrist, and has donated much of his fortune to education and medical research.
This is a man who sees business as an ancient game, rooted in Chinese culture’s “Wi Xing” where the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – come together in a mutually generative sequence.
You can see these phases in Li’s business investments which include construction and energy, mining and technology, shipping and banking. Together they account for over 15% of the market cap of Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange.
Li loves a game before work too. In fact you’ll find him at 6 every morning teeing off at the Hong Kong Golf Club with his playing partner, movie mogul Raymond Chow.
Whilst Asia rises, the old is still important. And that great old “Sage of Omaha”, investor Warren Buffett, still knows how to play too.
Twice as wealthy as his Asian peer, Buffett loves to surprise his shareholders when they gather at “the Woodstock of business”, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. Forget slick graphics explaining the complexities of financial markets, this is different.
As the lights dim, there’s a roar off stage, and 80 year old Buffett rides on dressed in a leather jacket, on the back of a shining Harley Davidson. He grabs a guitar and starts playing a song. His review of the year. His shareholders love it.
In fact it’s interesting how playful the world’s most famous entrepreneurs are.
Mark Zuckerburg began writing software at the age of about 10. As his father once said “Other kids played computer games, Mark created them”. Whenever he came across somebody else’s game, he would hack into the code, change it, to make it better.
Facebook itself started out as a game. Enrolled at Harvard to study psychology and computer science he was quickly distracted, famously creating a game called FaceMash which invited fellow students to vote for the hottest girls (and guys) on campus.
Soon he changed the game, under pressure from some of his peers and University administrators. Facebook was born. And a billion people followed.
Living in the zigzag zeitgeist
More than half the world live inside a circle based 106.6° E, 26.6° N, and within 4100km of Guiyang, Guizhou Province, in southwest China. A quick snapshot of our changing world demonstrates the dramatic change which surrounds us, and is or will disrupt every business:
- Middle world … Global population has doubled in the past 50 years, with a shift from low to middle income groups, a new consumer generation (OECD)
- Young and old … As life expectancy has boomed, now over 70, and births have declined, from 5 to 2.5, we live longer, with different priorities (UN).
- Mega cities … Urban populations will grow from 3.6bn in 2010 to 6.3bn by 20, representing 96% of the global population growth (World Bank)
- Flood warning … By 2050 at least 20% of us could be exposed to floods, including many cities, an economic risk to assets of $45 trillion (World Bank).
Brands come and go with much more regularity, products are built across the world, small business working together in networks:
- Business life … Over 40% of companies in the Fortune 500 in 2000 were not there in 2010. 50% will be from emerging markets by 2020. (Fortune)
- Made in the world … 55% of all products are now made in more than one country, and around 20% of services too (WTO)
- Small is better … 70% of people think small companies understand them better than large. The majority of the world’s business value is now in privately owned.
- Corporate trust … While 55% of adults trust businesses to do what is right, only 15% trust business leaders to tell the truth (Edelman).
Technological innovation is relentless, currently digital and mobile, but rapidly becoming more about clean energy and biotech:
- Always on … 24% of world population has a smartphone, typically checking it 150 times per day, spending 141 minutes on it (Meeker)
- Digital markets … 80% of websites are US-based, 81% of web users are non-US based, 70% of the value of all e-commerce transactions are B2B (IAB)
- Instant content … Content on the internet tripled between 2010 and 2013. 70% is now video. The half-life of social content is 3 hours (bit.ly)
- Future energy … By 2017, there will be close to $11 Billion in revenue from 35-million homes generating their own solar or wind power (GIGAom)
Customers feel increasingly ambivalent to brands and companies. In a world of infinite choice, their priorities and preferences have changed:
- Bland brands … 73% of people say they wouldn’t care if the brands they used disappeared. 62% say they are not loyal to any brands (Ad Age)
- Customer emotions … 70% of buying experiences are based on how people feel, loyal customers are typically worth 10 times their first purchase (McKinsey).
- Service costs … 7 times more to acquire customers than keep them, 12 positive experiences to make up for one unsolved negative experience (IBM)
- Family life … The amount of time parents spend with their children continues to go up, fathers spend three times more than 40 years ago (Meeker)
The end of the world as we know it
When Henry Ford launched his Model T in 1908 his Detroit assembly line, his innovative product, and his pioneering marketing machine, transformed an industry. His efficient mass-production methods reduced prices, improved quality, and created vast wealth. He dominated the market, and by 1918 half the cars in America were Fords.
It was the third wave of the industrial revolution.
The first wave of the industrial revolution had been about invention – from the forging of iron in the Shropshire valleys, the spinning jenny for making textiles, and James Watt’s steam engine. The second wave was about application – Robert Fulton’s steamboat on the Hudson River, Alexander Bell’s telephone, and Thomas Edison’s light bulb.
The third wave was about transformation, when the innovations take on a scale, and can change the world – from the mass production of cars, railways and airplanes, huge factories and modern medicines. This transformed people’s lives, improving health and education, the growth of cities and international trade.
Whilst the industrial revolution had begun in the north of England, making Britain powerful and wealthy, it soon spread across Europe and to America, and in later years beyond, particularly to Japan. It was 250 years of disruption, after 7000 years of a society based around agriculture.
Now, as that age closes, we are in the midst of the digital revolution – embarking on the third wave of a new age that will change the world again, even faster.
The first wave, about invention, started with transistors that led to integrated circuits, rise of computers and the miniaturisation of machines … from video games and mobile phones through to 1990 when Tim Berners Lee introduced the World Wide Web.
The second wave, about application, is well known to us today. Internet and mobile communications pervade our lives, shopping on Amazon with our Apple iPads, a world of knowledge through Google and Wikipedia, a world without borders by Facebook and Skype. First distracting us, now embraced as the way we live.
The third wave of the digital revolution is when everything changes, when digital is transformational, when power really shifts.
Whilst the last 20 years of technology has inspired us, it is only now that the game really changes – when the “gamechangers” shape the future. Mass production is rapidly becoming obsolete, 3D printers are already replacing factories, companies work in virtual networks, products bought on demand and customised by default, whilst personal channels are replacing stores which used to second guess what people wanted.
In the past we created average products for average people. We made the products ourselves in big factories that absorbed significant capital investment. We needed to sell huge scale to secure a return on investments. Markets were largely homogeneous because every competitor was close to average, therefore we could measure results by market share. We used mass-market, broadcast advertising with average messages, at times to suit us, pushing people to buy more of what we wanted.
This game doesn’t work anymore. That was the industrial age. Soon we will see the end factories, shops and advertising.
Digital is by its nature, not about size or geography, capability or experience. It is borderless and democratised, enabling anyone to have an impact. Mikael Hed sits in Espoo creating games like Angry Birds that entertain the world, Eric Magicovsky could be anywhere raising $10 million from 69000 people on Kickstarter to launch his Pebble smartwatch. Vicky Wu flies between LA and HK building “prosumer” demand for her latent fashions with ZaoZao.
This is the third wave of the digital revolution, where ideas can change people’s lives, where anybody can change the game.
Where the future begins
The value of business lies not in what is does today, but in what it seeks to achieve tomorrow. That might seem a little idealistic, given the short-term obsession of many organisations with operational performance, yet it is the future that most interests investors and private owners who now dominate the business world, hoping to see their investments grow through future profits.
Most business leaders are “heads down” in a relentless battle to survive, to hang onto the status quo. But that can only lead to diminishing returns. The more enlightened leaders are “heads up” looking at where they are going, making sense of how the outside world is changing with every day, identifying the new needs and expectations, the new competitors and challenges, opportunities and possibilities.
The best businesses go to where the future is.
They disrupt before they are disrupted. They sell before they are worthless. They recognise that existing success is increasingly driven by out-dated beliefs and , a once-profitable niche that has now become the mainstream, a previous innovation that has been widely imitated, an economy of scale that has become irrelevant, a temporary monopoly that is no more.
As we explore the shifts and trends, the white spaces and technological breakthroughs, the new attitudes and behaviours, we need to learn to think in a different way.
The change is exponential. So we need to jump on whilst we can. Catch the new wave, or better still, learn to ride with the successive, and ever more frequent waves of change.
When we look around us at the companies who are challenging established positions, shaking up conventions and waking up tired consumers, they are not the big companies but the small ones. They are the speed boats, fast and flexible, rather than super-tankers, steady and stable,
The challenge is extreme. It demands that we rethink where we’re going, and how to get there, rather than handing on to what made us great before.
In a fast and connected world, complex and uncertain, a winning business cannot hope to keep doing what it does, and do better. It has to do more, or different.
We are all in the ideas business
In Hong Kong there is a great 100 year old business that explains our future potential. For much of the last century Li and Fung was focused on low-cost manufacturing of textiles. That was until salary levels grew, and places like Indonesia were able to achieve much lower cost bases. The business reinvented itself as a virtual resource network, helping brands to find the right partners for the business, in terms of expertise, quality, and price.
Walk into a Li and Fung office in Sao Paulo or Istanbul, Barcelona or Toronto – or any one of their 300 offices in over 50 countries – and the small team of sourcing experts will help you find the best designers, manufacturers and distributors for your brand. Every pair of Levi jeans you buy are made with the help of Li and Fung, and around 40% of the world’s textiles. If you need finance, they’ll find you an investor, and if you need merchandising, processing or customer service, they can find the right partner for that too. Their business model can be based on fees, on commissions, or an agreed mix.
Actually, all you need is a good idea. Take it to Li and Fung and they can make it happen with you.
Those ideas are not the product of years of experience, of big organisations with thousands of employees, of rigorous “big data” analysis, and scientific labs. Those things can help, but they can also hinder. Fresh perspectives beat conventional wisdom, youthful insights connect with millennial markets, right brain intuition is an equal to left brain intelligence, and collaboration can achieve this even better.
And we haven’t even started on Steve Jobs. From the revolutionary Apple Mac that transformed computing. The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. Not just incredible products with beautiful designs, but new business models creating entirely new markets, changing the world.
Or James Dyson, with his bagless vacuum cleaner. Ratan Tata, with his dramatically affordable Nano car. Amancio Ortega with his ready baked Zara clothes. Or further back in time … Henry Ford, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Pablo Picasso, The Beatles, Nicolas Hayek, Ted Turner and many more.
Great ideas are the result of better thinking.
We need to think – to see things differently, and do different things – to open our minds to new possibilities, to outthink the new competition.
- Think bigger … redefine the markets we are in, reframe our brands in more useful contexts, recreate the strategies for success
- Think smarter … refocus on the best customers and categories, reinvent every aspect of our business, realigning with new partners.
- Think faster … reenergise people with new ideas, resonate with customers new priorities and aspirations, and achive more together.
Beyond the connectivity and applications, the social networks and artificial intelligence, we now live in a world that is more equal and accessible, where people are more knowledgeable and capable, than ever before.
It really is a world limited only by our imaginations.
Back at the moonshot factory of Google X, they have a mantra which says “Why try to be only 10% better, when you could be 10 times better?”
10 times better provides much more than a temporary competitive advantage, it has sufficient capacity to change the game. The effort required to think in a bigger frame, to innovate things more radically, to deliver them faster, is relatively small compared to the benefits.
But that requires one more thing. To think different.
Apple, or rather its ad agency Chiat Day, conjured up that phrase, but it matters more than ever. The best companies today don’t just play the game, they think bigger and better, smarter and faster, in order to change the game.
Chapter 2. Change the Game
The future is not an extension of today, it is wild and unpredictable, diverse and discontinuous. Business cannot extrapolate the success of today, and hope to win tomorrow. Even if you did, you would be swamped by a world of imitating competition all seeking to play the same game.
Just like the world changes at incredible pace, in fantastic and unexpected ways, so too must business learn to change – to play the new game, or better still to play their own game. To shape markets in their own vision, to create business models that suit them, to engage and enable customers to achieve more. This is what we mean by changing the game.
The turmoil of financial markets, collapsing banks and defaulting nations, are the dying cries of a changing world; a reordering of markets and power that we are slowly recognising. Amidst the shake-up there are new winners and losers. In 2014 China’s real GDP growth will be 7.1% compared to 0.9% in Europe. Markets from Colombia to Indonesia are thriving.
As Samsung launches its smart watch, Beijing is recognised as the world’s leading city for renewable energies, Schenzen becomes the new Wall Street, the best web designers are in Hyderabad, and fashion designers in Beunos Aires, we realise that the best ideas in business are shifting rapidly too. No longer are these fast growth markets the source of low-cost supplies, and low-budget consumers. They have youth and education, investment and disposable income, and most of all ambition, on their side too.
Every market is driven by change, fundamental power shifts and global trends, heightened expectations of customers, and new sources of competition. The shifts in power are economic and political, but also demographic and cultural. In a connected world, trends and expectations cross boundaries instantly. Even the most local or traditional markets are not immune. African children want the latest computer game just as much as those in California, Arabic consumers want global fashions and ready meals, whilst local market stalls in Europe focus on fresh, organic and exotic produce.
Technologies fuel and embrace this change. Computing power continues to grow exponentially, an iPhone smarter than a Space Shuttle, mobile devices supported by Cloud storage transform where and how we do business, whilst the most significant technical breakthroughs are in genetics, robotics and nanotech.
The current decade will be unique in its tectonic shifts. As the global population accelerates to 7.7 billion before slowing, global wealth will almost double, and the G7 will be replaced by the E7 (that’s the BRIC nations, plus Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey). Even more dramatic is the growth in global wealth, a combined GDP almost doubling from $53 to to $90 trillion. But the shift is not linear, not an extension of today, but a dramatic reordering – think of it like a kaleidoscope. Making sense of this global maelstrom, and seizing the opportunities within it, will separate winners from losers.
- West to East … the shift is intellectual and cultural, as well as economic. It will also be North to South (the rise of Africa), local to global (no borders), and global to local (staying real). Compare the fortunes of Air Asia with American Airlines, the growth of Tata with the stagnation of GE.
- Big to Small … the shift favours the fast and agile, not the slow and stable. Small businesses beat large ones. And people trust small businesses more too. Just look at the changing formats of hotels, from Sheraton and Hilton to Aloft and Airbnb. When Facebook acquired Instagram for $1bn in 2012, it only had 13 employees.
- Scale to Focus … the shift from success through volume and market share, to being able to target the profitable niches, treating customers as different and special, not a mass of averages. Consider the fragmentation of media, into specialisms and multiple platforms, more relevant and profitable.
- Skills to Ideas … the shift from industrial to digital age means that capabilities can always be found, it is ideas that make you different. As a result we a more human in a tech world. Think about the most admired leaders, like Branson and Buffett, smart but staying real.
- Me to We … the shift from individual to collaborative, embracing the value of diversity and engagement, connecting and collaborating to think smarter and act faster. Time to get connected to the platforms like Alibaba, networks like Linked-In, crowd-funders like Kickstarter.
- Push to Pull … the shift from surplus demand to surplus supply, the power to customers, and empowerment of consumers. Different is not enough, we need to be intimately relevant, in context and on demand. Think about Amazon, Google, or even pizza delivery.
The speed and impact of change is not only fast and relentless, but also exponential. It keeps multiplying. Familiar with the continual doubling of computing power, the never ending search for better and faster, and the ongoing obselence of devices, innovations keep building on each other, each growing exponentially, each magnifying the next.
Networks have the most exponential impact of all, profilferating ideas and capabilities, power and potential.
Whilst the future will be more volatile and uncertain it will also be more vibrant and unreal. The impact of change in a connected world is fast and far-reaching, as the advance of technology opens up new opportunities hard to imagine. Complexity is the norm as we learn to make sense of limitless information, discontinuities will be frequent, frictions will displaced, and change will be exponential. Whilst ambiguity might seem disconcerting, paradox is the source of amazing possibility.
When astronauts return from space, they marvel at the new perspective they gain of our planet – how small it seems in the expanse of space, and how unique and fragile its life-enabling ecosystems really are. It can transform attitudes about what matters, how to solve problems, about the scale of our ambitions and potential impacts.
We need to learn to think bigger, to reframe our sightlines, to think in a connected way, to understand the cause and effects of systems.
Global GDP is estimated to grow from $63 trillion back in 2010 to over $90 trillion by 2020 according to the World Bank. The economies of China and India will triple in that period, with the Chinese replacing America as the world’s largest economy. Looking further ahead, by 2050, the old G7 of advanced nations will be collectively half the value of the E7 nations (also including Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey).
As economic power shifts east, political influence and military capability will follow. As global citizenship mushrooms to 7.5 billion, it is the new lower to middle-income consumers that will have most impact on markets. Accelerating demand for oil and gas, food and fresh water, metals and land, will create price volatility and political tensions. Peak oil in 2021, after which it is expected to dwindle in supply, will exasperate the problem, whilst carbon emissions and sea levels continue to rise.
Huge population shifts from countryside to cities, farms to factories, transform landscapes and demographics, putting enormous strain on infrastructure. Baby boomers live on, as the aging population of advanced nations need more healthcare, whilst youthful populations of growing economies will demand better education. They will also embrace technology faster, hungry for innovations and entrepreneurial wealth.
Of these forces, GRIN (genetic, robotic, intelligent and nano) technologies will be most disruptive. However perhaps an even a bigger driver of markets and brands will be the dreams and expectations of consumers, alongside the imagination of the next generation entrepreneurs to fulfil them in novel and profitable ways.
Making sense of the future requires a leap of imagination. In the past we drew trend lines to understand smooth evolutions into the future. We cannot predict the future of smartphones as an incremental journey from today’s models, as the devices jumps to our wrists and clothing, to become embedded in our vision or minds. Nokia have learnt that a dominant market position can lead to irrelevance within five years.
Exploring new possibilities
The speed and impact of change is not only fast and relentless, but also exponential. It keeps multiplying. Familiar with the continual doubling of computing power, the never ending search for better and faster, and the ongoing obselence of devices, innovations keep building on each other, each growing exponentially, each magnifying the next.
Networks have the most exponential impact of all, profilferating ideas and capabilities, power and potential.
The idea of extrapolating the past to understand the future, even in a non-linear way, no longer works. The speed of change, the step change of capabilities, creates a future that is seismically different, and better, than our past.
Innovations emerge at incredible pace. I still struggle to remember life just 10 years ago when I couldn’t order my shopping online, read the newspaper on my tablet, hire a funky car for the day, or listen to limitless free music. The emergence of new materials like graphene, the upgrading of networks to superfast bandwidth, the miniaturisation of semiconductors are all quietly converging to create amazing futures, fast.
The “internet of things”, where physical objects from beer bottles to street lights are digitally connected, will make our environment more intelligent, personal and convenient. Already smart thermostats control the temperature of our homes without a thought, cars can alert each other of traffic jams ahead, drone aircraft are deployed in warfare, and plants can text or tweet that they needed watering.
By 2020, research firm Gartner believe there will be more than 30 billion “things” online, a $15 trillion market. Darpa, the defence innovator have developed AlphaDog that can walk for 20 miles without resting, Google’s glasses will drive actions based on eye movements, Samsung are developing phones that have a sense of touch and computers that can smell.The stories of new possibilities are endless, “gamechanging” is about making them real.
Mobile solutions – whether it’s banking, shopping or healthcare – will be worth $4.5 trillion by 2020, according to Bain. However this will demand better and faster network coverage. Rethinking Wi-Fi based on much smaller and frequent transmitters in urban areas, is one option, popular in dense cities like Seoul and Tokyo. Meanwhile Chamtech have developed a more radical solution – spray-on wifi – a liquid containing millions of nano-capacitors, that can be sprayed onto any surface, like clothes and cars, creating local, satellite-enabled, hotspots wherever people are.
Air travel is expected to double in the next decade, according to IATA, driven by the demand of emerging middle classes. Significantly more efficient planes will be needed, to reduce time, costs and emissions. Slovenian aircraft maker Pipistrel has developed a electric aircraft that also benefits from smarter navigation systems that allow it to find shorter routes, sensing thermal flows and negotiating complex paths. Meanwhile NASA has developed a twin-cylinder engine that can be mounted at the back of the plane, thereby requiring 50% less fuel, and significantly reducing noise too.
Gadget-mad people are always looking for power sockets. And the biggest component in the devices is usually the battery. Miniaturised capture of solar power will transform gadgets. They will use micro-batteries mimicking photosynthesis, using metal oxides heated by the sun, to split sea water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen, clean and abundant, could then power a whole array of micro-machines, from the next generation phones to nano-tech medical implants.
The sun really is our best source of energy. It’s obvious really, but we haven’t yet been able to harness the obvious. Desert wastelands soak up more energy in six hours than the world uses in a year. Desertec seeks to harness that potential with hundreds of square miles of wind and solar plants feeding the world’s electric grids with clean cheap and reliable solar power provided it can get nations working together. 90% of the world lives within 1800 miles of a desert, and 1300 square miles of Saharan desert, for example, could power 20% of Europe. It could transform the fortunes of Africa, as well as solve the world’s fossil fuel crisis.
Playing a different game
In the 1968 Mexico Olympics, Dick Fosbury stood alongside his competitors, no taller or fitter than all the other fine athletes. But he had a significant advantage. He thought differently. Whilst every other competitor followed the conventions established over the years, that a high jump involved straddling the bar feet first, Fosbury tried a different approach, leaping backwards over the bar. The biomechanical explanations would come later, all that Fosbury knew or cared about was that he had out-thought his competitors, and won gold.
20 years later, Nicolas Hayek, a Lebanese-born Swiss actuary was asked by a group of bankers to oversee the liquidation of two traditional watch-making firms, who were in turmoil due to competition from Japanese manufacturers like Seiko. Instead he reorganised the the business and acquired a young start-up brand called Swatch who made cheap, plastic watches from minimal parts. He rapidly scaled the business, focusing on the potential of plastic for colour and design. The Swatch brand did not seek to emulate other watch-makers, but instead to be in the fashion business. “Why buy one watch, when you can have three or four, a different colour for each outfit?”
10 years later, Jeff Bezos, a Cuban American left behind his job as vice president of a Wall Street investment bank headed for the West Coast, with little more than his car he drove, and wife alongside him. He could see how the internet was starting to change industries and consumers lives. A year later he launched Amazon from a garage in Bellevue, just outside Seattle. Within two months he was selling $20,000 of books a week. He dubbed it the world’s first online bookstore, choosing the name Amazon because it started with an A and sounded a little exotic and different. Innovation for Bezos is about “1000 small ideas coming together to change the world”. Over the last two decades he has achieved that, building the world’s largest retailer.
The opportunities for change are all around us, what it takes is people. People who are prepared to do things differently, to put their hands up and say they believe there is a better way, and to start making it happen.
How will you change the game?
Entrepreneurs are natural gamechangers. They have chosen to play their own game, driven by ambition and uninhibited by function or hierarchy. Large businesses have advantages too, assets which to apply in new ways, existing brands and customer bases on which to build. Gamechangers can be anyone, business leaders or strategists, innovators and marketers, somebody on a shop floor, or in a call centre. They can change the game because they think differently.
4 ways to “change the game”
Gamechangers typically innovate in one or more of the following dimensions – the why, who, what and how – of the whole business, or any part of it. They might apply this thinking to the business strategy, but it could also apply to a brand or service experience, leadership style or organisation processes.
- Change the “why” (the purpose, application or benefit) – for example, from maximising profits to enhancing people’s lives, from being the biggest to being the best, from enabling communication to providing entertainment. When Coca Cola changed its purpose from the more functional “refreshment” to more emotional “happiness” it was able to engage people much more deeply.
- Change the “who” (the geography, customer or context) – for example, from home markets to selected markets first, targeting older people rather than everyone, or women, or a different decision maker in a company. When Fiat 500 changed its target audience from low-cost owners, to funky young things, it stepped out of its old peer group, and became affordable, urban fashion.
- Change the “what” (the category, product or experience) – for example, combining products to solve problems, personalising products on demand, offering 24/7 service, making the experience fun, or extending to support people in their application. When Rapha realised it was not its clothing, but togetherness that mattered to cyclists, it opened cafes and became the cult place to hang out.
- Change the “how” (the business model, service style or participation) – for example, from transactional pricing to membership fees, prices that change by time of day, reduced price in return for new ideas, or sold through new types of partners. When Zipcars wanted to be different, it didn’t charge per week like other car rental companies, but created a membership club and then charged a much smaller fee per minute and mile.
The four dimensions are a simple compass by which to stretch your thinking. Some of the best innovations change in more than one dimension, or even all of them. Gamechangers then need to think about how they turn their disruptive ideas into a practical strategy for business success – what it means in terms of market and brand, innovation and marketing, business model and customer experience, resources and metrics. But all of this comes later, and often flows easier, once you have found a big, inspiring idea.
Be a reality distortion field
Steve Jobs provokes and inspires in equal measure. From his early days as a “silicon kid”, the geek in the garage that loved Bob Dylan, making games for Atari and a gadget to make illegal phone calls, to a visit to Xerox PARC where he was inspired by their graphical interface, set up his Mac team of pirates and soon got fired.
But entrepreneurs don’t give up. From the super computers of NeXT, he was soon in dreamland at Pixar and $1 billion richer. From Toy Story emerged his jelly bean iMacs, iPods and iPhones followed with the help of iTunes and AppStore that made them great, Leerjets and Coldplay, lickable iPads and $400 billion.
Love him, or hate him, he changed the world … visionary and obsessive, pedantic and and dismissive, inspiring and impossible …distorting reality, disrupting possibility.
Most strategies in business search for absolutes – the perfect vision, defining priorities, setting limits. But markets are dynamic, volatile and unpredictable, and plans are never perfect. Businesses rarely implement the strategy they agonised over. But for Jobs, there are no straight lines, passion and intuition were better guides, making sense of complexity. Keep looking left-field, embracing every experience, and seeing the bigger picture.
Innovation processes seek to codify a human, creative experience. Processes improve efficiency, maybe even speed, but they rarely deliver the right answer. Market research delivers average insights. Apple believed different. Customers don’t know what they want, so innovation is a human, intuitive discipline, nurturing creativity and bringing ideas together in new ways. Design is much more than look and feel, it is about how things work – better, cooler, magical.
Brands are the identity systems that make you stand out from the crowd, articulate your difference and superiority. From ads to adwords, social media and relationship marketing, brands seek to build awareness, interest and demand. Steve demanded that Apple’s brands should do more. Brands enchant people – aesthetically, emotionally, and inspirationally. They sell dreams not products, create unconditional desire, enable people to achieve more, and reflect who you want to be.
Leadership is typically about inspiration, but in a positive way – bringing people together, respecting and encouraging, supporting and developing the – building teams that are stronger than their parts, empowering them, and sharing rewards. There is no space for compromise in business – for less than the best people and performance below greatness. Social niceties, and compromise, do not change the world. With really great teams, you can be direct, difficult and brilliant.
Steve Jobs was at his most inspiring on 12 June 2005, in a rare public address to graduates at Stanford University, and at a time when unknown to others he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. “Stop spending your time living someone else’s life, and live your own. Decide how good you really want to be, and commit yourself to absolute excellence. Spend each day, as if it were your last.”
Make the change, but also, be the change.
Chapter 3. Be the Gamechanger
“Gamechangers” are the next generation of brands and businesses who are seizing the opportunities of change, not to do things a little better, or a little different, but to change the game. The game of how the market works, who the customer is, what they really want to achieve and why, how to make money, and create a lasting positive impact.
What makes gamechangers more significant, numerous and influential, today is the breadth and diversity of change in our world. The ride with the shifting power and new technologies. They reach across a flatter world, but selectively focus on the fragmenting niches that emerge. Whilst many of the products and services we buy have become more similar, because of the ubiquitious supply of components and speed of imitation, they know they have to work much harder to stand out, to engage the best customers.
This is why gamechangers win.
From Alibaba in China to Al Jazeera in Qatar, Air Asia in Malaysia to Ashmei in England, Ashoka in Canada to Azuri in Kenya we searched for the busineses who were shaking up their markets. We asked peers to nominate others in their sectors, we stretched out across the world, to ensure we covered every region of the world.
What emerged were 120 fabulous stories. New start-ups, small businesses, local incumbents, global corporations are all learning to change the game and play a new one, to adapt and respond, anticipate and innovate.
Let’s meet some of them … famous people, and others just like you … who are making and shaping markets in their own vision. At a time of relentless change, the winners know that every day counts. Here are just a few, at one moment in time:
|06:00 Los Altos, California, USA
Anne Wojcicki is up early in Los Altos, the scientist-entrepreneur to see how many 23andMe “spit tests” have arrived in the morning post. With that DNA sample and $99 she can tell you all about your ethnic heritage, and future health.
|08:00 Bogata, Colombia
Luis Genaro Muñoz sips his first Juan Valdez coffee of the day whilst meeting with leading Colombian coffee growers to explore the international expansion of the brand which they together created, including their quirky, distinctive coffee shops.
|08:00 McGregor, Texas, USA
Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, champion of Tesla electric cars, and dreamer of the Hyperloop between LA and San Francisco, is out early. He’s preparing for the next launch of his SpaceX spacecraft destined for the International Space Station, making space travel work in a way which NASA never succeeded.
|09:00 Buenos Aires, Argentina
In 2006 Brett Mycoskie wanted to help the thousands of street kids he saw running barefoot around the city. He got the local factory to make simple alpargata which he branded Toms’ and shipped to the USA. For every pair he sold, he gave a pair to the local kids. He has now given over a million pairs to kids in 40 countries
|10:00 New York, USA
In his Upper East Side apartment, Australia’s Bank 3.0 author and entrepreneur Brett King is pacing the floor, working on the next phase of launching his innovative online banking concept, Moven, innovating at break-neck speed to make his ideas happen in reality.
|10:00 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Cristiana Arcangeli sips from her Beauty’in lychee and white tea whilst enjoying the morning sunshine in Ibiraouera Park. Having trained as a dentist, she is an entrepreneur and TV presenter. Her range of alimetic drinks and candy bars, tea and chocolate promise to make you more beautiful and feel better from the inside out.
|10:00 Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Brazil’s GraalBio is busy converting the mountains of waste built up outside the nation’s sprawling megacities into new sources of energy. Bernardo Gradin, CEO, is talking with investors, describing his vision of a circular economy for South America.
|13:00 Aylesbury, England
Stuart Brooke is just heading off for a lunchtime run, in his own super premium Ashmei brand running gear, developed out of his frustration with the likes of Adidas and Nike who he feels compromise quality in pursuit of mass market price points.
|13:00 Cambridge, England
Up the road, Eden Upton is in his engineering lab at Cambridge, working on the Raspberry Pi circuit boards which sell for £20 and enable kids to program, and entrepreneurs to tinker without risk, empowering the next generation Apples and Googles.
|14:00 Torres Novas, Portugal
Paulo Miguel Pereira da Silva, CEO of Renova has a passion for toilet paper. Maybe not the most conventional of executive pursuits, he is seeking to bring creativity and colour to a neglected aspect of everyday life.
|16:00 Nairobi, Kenya
Julia Kurnia is working on Zidisha, her online peer to peer financial service, helping Kenya’s small but ambitious farmers and industrialists to find loans for their new business ventures, in a market where there is little support, but growth is rapid.
|16:00 Beirut, Lebanon
Aline Kamakian is busy cooking in the kitchen of her award-winning Mayrig restaurant in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Her passion is to preserve and promote Armenian culture, and thinking bigger, she’s just launched new restaurants in Dubai and New York.
|18:00 Mumbai, India
Buses are chaotic and popular across India, but Phanindra Sama is making sense of the 10,000 routes with Redbus, the nation’s first computerised booking systems, with integrated timetables, and customer rating system driving up service standards.
|21:00 Beijing, China
Lei Jun is still at work, finding it hard to keep pace with the huge demand from young Chinese for his MiPhone. He’s particularly focused on content, which is where his low-cost smartphones will deliver most returns. Just don’t mention Apple.
|02:00 Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Up on northern peninsula, Zespri’s CEO Lain Jager is checking the latest orders from around the world for his kiwi fruits. In a world of wellness, his superfood anti-oxidant specialities are in high demand, as is speed and quality.
A snapshot of some of the world’s vibrant marketplaces … with ordinary people like you, doing quite extraordinary things.
Aline and Anne, Eden and Elon … just a few of the “gamechangers, the next generation of innovators and leaders who are shaking everything up. They have their heads up seeing the opportunities of incredible change, heads down changing our world.
How do they win?
As you explore the 100 “gamechangers” across geographies and categories, you will notice how different – and innovative – their approaches are. Some win through deeper customer insights, others by building more engaging brand platforms, typically embracing social networks, but to create more personal and human experiences. Some underpin this with collaborative innovation and others with new business models, and to make this happen requires new structures and leadership styles.
What is interesting is how they connect these ideas together – how social networks can turn brands into movements with shared passions, or sustainability can spark new ideas for innovation, leading to new growth opportunities, whilst also doing good.
Together key words emerge, to describe what gamechangers do, for example:
- Fuse –connecting unconnected ideas generates more creative solutions, connecting people with people, customers and business, customers and customers, to innovate together.
- Amplify – brands amplify the perceptions of products and prices, networks amplify the reach and richness of brands, advocates amplify the reputation of business, and leaders amplify the potential of everyone.
- Enable – brands enable people to achieve more, business models enable new sources of revenue, and partners business to seize opportunities far beyond existing capabilities, to enable agility and faster growth.
- Mobilise – giving people a stage to do more together, to collaborate and create, propelled by a common purpose or passion, more powerful and confidence, a stronger voice together and more impact than a brand on its own.
- Enrich – bigger ideas are more fulfilling, to employees and partners, customers and investors, who profit collectively and individually by achieving more, making a difference locally, and the world becomes a better place.
If we then apply these principles to each of the typical activities of a business, strategic and operational, then we get a big picture as to how they think and act differently. By breaking this into 10 sections, we then get more specific detail on what changes, or where the opportunities are for you to change and win.
We explore each of these shifts in detail, with specific examples of disruptive innovators around the world who are using them right now to shake up markets, to shake up the expectations of customers in every sector, and to inspire your own thinking.
Are you ready to change the world?
“Changing the world” can mean lots of different things – for 23andMe it’s about recoding life, with Zipcars it’s about finding a new business model, for Ashmei it’s about creating a technically better product, at Renova it’s about creating the world’s most colourful toilet paper. They are all shaking up their markets in different ways.
“Gamechangers” therefore can have different levels of focus. From strategic through to operational, holistic to functional. If you like, there are three types of gamechangers:
- Market Makers – They explore the future world, global markets and emerging categories. They look through their kaleidoscope to make sense of ambiguity, connecting emerging trends and dispersed ideas, to create their own space, to seize and shape markets in their own vision, and to change the world.
- Business Innovators – They explore the business potential, creating better ways to succeed in the new markets, guided by stretching and inspiring purpose. They think creatively in systems, how to design new business models, applying creativity and innovation to every aspect of the business.
- Brand Builders – They explore the customer world, diving deep into chosen markets to understand what really matters to existing and future customers. They seek emotional resonance, sharing ambition, engaging and enabling people to achieve more, collaborating and connecting them to make life better.
Whatever your focus, gamechangers are bold and brave, with the ambition and audacity to believe that they can make a fundamental difference. Whether they are start-up entrepreneurs or part of large organisations, in Abu Dhabi or Vietnam, seeking to maximise profits or to enhance the common good, they share a number of characteristics.
Not every gamechanger will become as famous as Mark Zuckerberg or Li Ka-Shing, create the billions of Jeff Bezos or save lives like Dr Shetty, but in their own ways, in their own worlds, everyone – every one of us – can change the game, to achieve more, more than we ever thought possible.
Gamechangers think bigger. Like Cristiana Arcangeli, they reframe their markets with more opportunities for growth and innovation, and they compete by out-thinking their competition with better insights and ideas.
Like Eden Upton, they learn faster and act different. They embrace the best new business ideas and ways of working. They harness every aspect of their business model as opportunities to innovate and stand out.
Most of all, just like Elon Musk, they change the game. They shape existing and future markets in their own vision. And because they see further, they win better. They find their own space to grow, to realise their personal and business potential.
“I am a Gamechanger”
I believe in the future
A world of infinite possibilities
I see opportunity when others see impossibility
Thinking bigger, reframing my perspective.
Seeing things differently, thinking different things.
I explore. I challenge. I risk. I venture.
Rethinking. Imagining. Reinventing. Igniting.
We are all in the ideas business.
Creating, designing, innovating, together.
I embrace my childlike wonder and curiosity
I take flying leaps into the known.
Playing the game. Changing the game. Playing to win.
I want to contribute to something bigger than myself.
I want to make life better, the world a better place.
Change is my opportunity, to seize and shape.
Aiming higher, with a purpose beyond profit.
Harnessing the power of brands, the potential of people.
Digital networks, technologies and business models.
Fusing the best ideas. amplifying the potential of others.
Mobilising people with a cause, enabling them to achieve more.
I don’t want to live somebody else’s life.
To live in the shadow of somebody else’s vision.
Imagination is my pathway to a better future.
Ideas and brands are my guides.
Partners make them real.
Most of all, I believe in me, and in being more.
To achieve what I never thought possible.
To put a ding in my universe.
I am bold, brave and brilliant.
I am a gamechanger.
Reviews of Gamechangers:
“Thorough and smart, Gamechangers doesn’t just identify the trends shaping our business future, it offers us a roadmap for how to get there.”
Greg Williams, Editor of Wired Magazine
“In Gamechangers, Peter Fisk gives us an expansive guide to today’s magic makers, and the methods and maps for getting there yourself. This book will change your world and help you become a creative leader. Read and win!”
Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
“Gamechangers sets a new record for brilliant ideas per page. If you can’t find inspiration from the brilliant strategies of 100 gamechanging companies, you might want to consider another line of work.”
Ken Segall, author of “Insanely Simple” and personal marketing advisor to Steve Jobs
“You will never look at brand building the same again. Gamechangers explodes with refreshing strategies and ideas to take your brand to the next level!”
Paulo Miguel Periera da Silva, CEO of Renova
“Gamechangers is a book of our times. And your future. It describes a blueprint for the 21st century business, and how to make it happen. Exceptional!”
Tom Peters, author “In Search of Excellence” and much more
“Gamechangers create the future with vision and innovation. In 1940 Henry Ford said that one day somebody would combine a car and aeroplane. At Aeromobil we made that happen. You too can be a “gamechanger” with Peter’s excellent guide to disruptive innovation”
Stefan Klein and Juraj Vaculik, Co-Founders of AeroMobil
“Peter is the Einstein of marketing and has just solved the elusive theory of business success. This book is like a magical lens that will allow you to see a world in business in which you can always win. You will think differently, see links that you never saw before and play the ‘game’ knowing you cannot lose. Peter goes one step further by proving how ordinary people have created extraordinary businesses – it is impossible to imagine business success without this book.”
Mark Pitt, CEO, Virgin Australia New Zealand
“At Thinkers 50 we aim to identify the best business thinkers. We have featured Peter Fisk because his work consistently challenges the status quo. He seeks out best practice wherever it may be and shares it with the world. Gamechangers is far-ranging and important. It delivers on its promise.”
Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, founder of Thinkers 50
“Peter Fisk is one of the great marketing polymaths of our age. From nuclear physicist to creative guru Peter is unique in his ability to blend left and right brain thinking and to inspire both creative and commercial stakeholders. Gamechangers is the latest brilliant episode in his crusade to transform the way marketing creates sustainable business and brand value. A tour de force and a must for every self respecting CEO”
David Haigh, Founder and CEO of Brand Finance plc
“Peter is able to succinctly capture the key dynamics in this fast changing world of business and brands, and challenging ones own strategic imperatives. Through insights drawn from global brands, he is able to inspire you to adopt different ways of thinking and working, with highly relevant applications for those of us operating in Asia.”
Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy chairman, John Keells Holdings Plc
“Gamechangers is an in-depth view of how the commercial world is viewed by the most innovative businesses, and how they make the difference.”
Stuart Brooke, Founder and Managing Director, ashmei
“This book provides fascinating insights into leading businesses that are shaping their markets in their own vision and driving innovation and growth.”
Lain Jäger, CEO of Zespri International (New Zealand)
“Gamechangers are the businesses who make sense of our fast changing world, and drive innovation in everything they do, in order to be winners today and tomorrow. In India, there is more opportunity than ever to innovate and grow. Every Indian business needs to be a gamechanger!”
Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic India & South Asia
“Captures provocative lessons from an enormous range of recent innovations, spanning many different categories and countries. The result is a highly stimulating toolkit that challenges marketers to see things and do things very differently.”
Andy Bird, Co-Founder of Brand Learning
“Steve Jobs once said you need to be 10x better than your competitors. What’s your strategy to get there? Start with Gamechangers … and get inside the thinking of 100 of the world’s most amazing companies”
Ken Segall, author of “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success”
“Fisk succeeds in providing an entertaining, lucid and innovative analysis of disruptive companies that are transforming the landscape of all global industries. Highly recommendable for those entrepreneurs aiming at changing the rules of the business game as well as for managers whose mature businesses are threatened by new entrants.”
Santiago Iniguez, Dean of IE Business School, Madrid
“Unlike any business book you’ve ever read, celebrated brand guru Peter Fisk asks you “are you ready to play the game?” Fisk argues that “the best business go to where the future is, then he takes you on a kaleidoscopic tour of that very future, opening-up a multitude of new horizons. In a world limited ” only by your imagination”, Gamechangers invites you to stretch your own imagination, so as to advance in the competition for new ideas. Warning: while you are reading this, others are changing your game!”
Prof. Bill Fischer, Professor of Innovation Management, IMD, Lausanne. Former President and Dean, China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai
“Peter Fisk fires up a mosaic of thinking beyond business through these brilliantly enunciated century of stories. Gamechangers is sheer intellectual capital that everyone needs to dig, grow, store, sell and share to make this world an interesting place not just for doing business but for all of us to live”
S. Subramanyeswar, National Planning Director, Lowe Lintas India
“Peter has captured in Gamechangers the essence of the future direction in business. A book to be included in all business libraries.”
Labeed S. Hamid, President, Middle East Management Centre (Dubai)
“Once again Peter has written a stunning book. No blind theories or wild thinking, just clear and game-changing insights based on profound research. 350 pages of the most inspiring material for any marketer or business manager. Countless cases from all over the world in many different sectors make eye-opening reading for anyone wanting to grow their business and be successful. A book that will be ‘current’ for at least the next ten years. I’m sure that most gamechangers of the coming decade will have read this book.”
Ward Vandorpe, Managing Director Expert Marketer Magazine
“If you’ve ever wondered how some people manage to totally re-invent a sector or introduce a brand-new business that no-one really knew was needed until it was there, then Peter’s new book not only explains how they come about, but it actually gives you a framework on how you could do it – fantastic! As usual, Peter has researched the topic thoroughly, and gives you some great examples. If you’re curious about what the future could be, and would also like to be one of those that create it, then this book is for you.”
Steve Gilroy, CEO of Vistage International
“We met Peter a year ago during our perpetual trip around the world. We were traveling from east to west. He was traveling in the opposite direction. We were meeting brands with a purpose and sharing their stories to inspire other people. Peter was meeting brands that do things different, companies that were changing the game. He was observing, looking for a pattern… and creating a method to teach other companies to do the same. He asked us during that meeting: “Are you ready to change the world?” Now that we’ve read the manuscript… we can’t wait to apply the method to our business.”
Anouk Pappers and Maarten Schäfer, co-founders of CoolBrands
“This is the most original and practical book. Any marketer who skips this book is missing a huge opportunity to get “genius” ideas from the father of 21st century business thinking”
Handi Irawan D, CEO of Frontier Consulting Group (Indonesia)
“In a very grey world, finally, how to change the game, in a great framework that is insightful, colorful, simple, and easy to put into practice. A must read for any ambitious executive”
Tanyer Sonmezer, CEO, Management Centre Turkey
“Alibaba, Airbnb, Amazon; Gamechangers all and we are only on the ‘A’s. Peter Fisk’s book is a veritable alphabet of brands that are changing the world as we know it. Richard Branson, the consumate Gamechanger, has just been rated as the most admired UK leader over the last 50 years because he transforms markets and challenges conventional thinking but who are the emerging ‘Virgin’s’ in retail, fashion and banking? This book gives you the skinny on them all and most importantly shares a framework that you can apply to your own business. There are a lot of business authors, some are very good but in my book, Peter is one of the very few who really changes our understanding of business rather than simply observing it”
Shaun Smith, co-author of “Bold: How to be brave in business and win”
‘This is a truly prodigious book. Peter Fisk is experienced, urbane and creative, all the attributes one would expect from a top marketer. The case histories in this book are inspirational and Peter’s writing style is engaging and very much to the point. This book deserves a special place in the substantial library of books on marketing.’
Prof. Malcolm McDonald, Cranfield School of Management
‘Customers, brands and marketing should sit at the heart of every business’s strategy and performance today. Peter Fisk explains why this matters more than ever, and how to achieve it for business and personal success.’
Prof. John Quelch, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
“Peter makes you see the world, and your business in a new way … I really like what he has to say, and the help he has given us … Enjoy every minute of it”
Mariano Dima, Senior VP Marketing and Products, Visa Europe
“Thanks to Peter we now have a different view of our world. We have learnt to see our business from the outside in … like customers do … and with many more opportunities too”
Erdal Karamcan, Group CEO, Eczacibasi Holding, Turkey
“With Peter’s inspiration and expert guidance, we have been able to develop a fantastic new set of propositions, solutions and experiences for our customers”
Darius Maikstena, VP Marketing, Teliasonera (and Omnitel), Lithuania
“Peter has been a fantastic leader of our project to develop a new vision and strategy for our brand and products. He has given us clear direction, and we now need to make it happen”
Mehmet Aktas, CEO Yasar Holding (and Pinar brand), Turkey
“Peter was excellent – insightful, inspiring and incredibly energetic. He made our Hershey conference very special”
Peter Smit, VP International Markets, The Hersheys Company, USA
“This has been an incredible day. I know Peter has made everyone of us think differently, and inspired us to start creating our future now”
Cindy Roll, VP Marketing, GSK Canada
“Peter’s insights into the future of brands and marketing are incredible. As is everything about his seminar today – the presentation, the interaction, the music, and the energy”
Svetlana Omelchenko, Head of Marketing Insights, Coty
“A glimpse of an exciting new world, where people and technology come together in new ways, and where there are threats and opportunities for all of us”
Ann Rodven, Event Director, Visit Oslo, Norway
“That was awesome. Peter engaged the audience with fantastic energy and content. He challenged our thinking, focused on our biggest issues, and left us inspired”
Jeff Busch, VP Strategic Communications, Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
“Peter’s keynote was of his usual high standard and very interesting, but most of all his charisma undoubtedly contributed to the success of our event”
Bernadette Lobjois, Secretary General, The European Lotteries Federation
“Peter was inspirational. He combined deep insight into our changing world, with practical and innovative ideas for application”
Darren Marshall, Senior VP, Asia Pacific, The Coca Cola Company, Singapore
“Peter provided a very inspiring and informative view of the challenge for GSK to achieve marketing excellence, and a great start to our new marketing community”
Mark Russell, GSK
“I am now inspired to use my left and right brain more actively together. I loved learning about Einstein and Picasso, and how they would address today’s business challenges”
Johan Svedberg, Head of Brand Development, Ericsson, Sweden
“This was superb. The content was not just game changing, but vision changing”
Aziz Gilitwala, MD of Dadabhai Travel, Bahrain