If you're a company in any industry today that doesn't have tech or innovation in your business strategy you need to rethink your direction and fast. The business press is littered with the stories of industry giants who have been taken down by not having innovation at the core of their strategy. One of the most famous being Kodak.
The pace at which non tech companies are using tech to ensure their future is however, increasing significantly. CB Insights has reported that traditional Fortune 500 companies without software on internet in their DNA have made four $1B+ tech acquisitions since 2012. And the list of non tech companies who are doing startup investing is accelerating with the likes of Coke and Wal Mart all in that game.
Toy giant Mattel even recently announced it's upgraded business strategy with a focus on its innovation pipeline which is part of reshaping the company to compete better in the future. "It is time to reinvent this company because of where the world is headed," Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis told Fortune. (Georgiadis is a former Google exec - watch this trend - non tech companies tapping tech execs to shorten their time to future proofing their business with innovation strategy).
As the industry giants get further into their future plans with innovation as their business driver, they also need to upgrade their company positioning, message and engagement with customers and influencers as well as their overall communications strategy. You can't upgrade your business and still communicate the old way.
Coca-Cola, Wal Mart, Disney. We don’t typically associate names like these with tech or tech investing, but in the last few years all 3 and many old-line Fortune 500 stalwarts like them have plunged into startup investing and M&A. In fact, traditional Fortune 500 companies without software or internet in their DNA have made four $1B+ tech acquisitions since 2012 (see other data points in TWID below).