Earlier in the week we pressed the button on a new company website. The business is called Stripe Partners – and although the founding partners have been working together for a short while on initial client engagements we’d not previously made any public announcements about the business.
I’m hugely looking forward to this new chapter in my career and the opportunity to build on the experiences that I, and Tom Rowley, Charlotte Melford and Tom Hoy have had to date.
I’m most looking forward to work on an intersection where I see an opportunity to add real value to our clients. Over the last few years it’s become increasingly apparent to me that while companies need strong, deep, maybe even profound insights into their existing markets and the socio-cultural contexts they operate in, they have an even more painfully strong need to get stuff done. This need to make things happen is more important than ever – get a couple of product cycles wrong (Nokia) and you’re almost dead; misread what the advent of digital might mean in a previously analogue market (Kodak) and you go into Chapter 11.
Modern markets are more than just complicated systems, they’re complex ecologies in which small companies often have advantages because they’re not bound by incumbent relationships that worked in the past but are more difficult to justify (Intel-Microsoft) in the present. Small, sometimes tiny companies also have access to many (if not all) of the tools that are required to get digital (and many non-digital) businesses off the ground swiftly. Companies need agility to respond to markets that are characterised by velocity.
It’s long struck me a key challenge for large organisations is that in the time they can identify an area of opportunity, develop some ideas that address it, build coalitions of the willing around the idea, get ‘buy-in’ and then secure scarce internal budget the idea’s time has either passed, or some small outfit in a bedroom or studio has got the idea out into the world.
Stripe Partners sets out to help in a world that looks like this.
Our aim is to identify opportunities through the sort of robust and deep research which I’ve had the privilege of doing for most of my adult life and then to develop and focus ideas and help propel them into the world, at pace. We think it’s a model whose time has come and we believe we’ve got the networks, energy and existing relationships we need to make it work.
I’ll write a little more about the why and what of Stripe Partners over on our website. I hope you’ll join me there.
And, as a footnote, I should note the contribution of some ex-colleagues at Intel to the language and ideas embodied in the terms flux, ecosystem etc. You know who you are..