Monopoly of Innovation Trend #4 of 8 from Web Summit


The traditional definition of a company is often focused around what they do and is easily placed within predefined categories. This has meant that industry leaders with long expertise in the business, trust that their knowledge will be an insurance for the future. But its no longer a secret that industry borders are starting to blur and we are experiencing a large shift in perspective how companies view their core business.

The key has been becoming truly customer centric. Classic examples of this is Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. The products they sell has been around for ages, but the way they provide them makes the difference.

As these large tech companies are disrupting the traditional industry borders and giving power to the consumers, the consumers has realized what’s possible and that they can put pressure on industries and drive change. But this doesn’t mean that companies can stop to innovate. They need to focus even more on innovation.


Prepare for take off with Uber

The now classic Henry Ford quote that people would have wanted faster horses when asked about what they wanted is still accurate. Jeff Holden, CPO at Uber, stated that Ubers mission on earth is to radically improve mobility.

Even though many see Uber as a major disruptor in their industry, in essence they are still a cab service and it would be an overstatement to proclaim them to have radically improved mobility. But they are getting there.

Just as skyscrapers were a way of enabling many people in the same space, Uber will enable a new density within transportation

– Jeff Holden, CPO at Uber

By 2020 Uber together with NASA will have developed a Distributed Electric Propulsion helicopter, a quiet and 100% emission free aircraft. It can fly approximately 100 km at 320 km per hour, and is fully charged in three minutes – the same amount of time it takes to board and unboard the passengers. It will be less expensive than driving your own car and ten times more energy efficient.

By landing on rooftops, it also solves the issue of traffic in dense cities. This wouldn’t have been innovated by simply asking customers what they want. It is still 100% customer oriented but based on data. Data on how far and where we travel, that we spend 5 weeks per year in a car and that over 4 billion people live in cities today. It is living up to their mission to radically improve mobility.


Uber and NASA will together develop a Distributed Electric Propulsion helicopter, a quiet and 100% emission free aircraft, by 2020.


What if Google is the main threath to innovation?

At conferences like Web Summit its easy to hail the large disruptive tech companies. But the European Commissioner of Competition, Margrethe Vestager, presented another perspective. What if companies like Google and Facebook are the major threat to innovation?

Competition is important to create progress, but companies like Google and Facebook don’t truly experience it, but what is the option for small businesses if they don’t want to end up on page 4 on Google? And as the large tech companies are continuously expanding into new areas, for example Facebook Messenger becoming a chat option for business and supporting online payments, they start to control even more information.

Data is great for optimizing the usage of IoT-services, automation and improving people’s life in general. But controlling large amounts of data shouldn’t be a way to keep out innovation from others. The positive impacts would be much greater if data wasn’t a company secret.



Google were in June 2017 fined for 2,4 billion Euro by the European Union. By artificially and illegally promoting its own price comparison service in searches, Google denied both its consumers real choice and rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field, European regulators said. The case has been appealed, and the outcome of this case can have large implications for both Google and other tech giants.






Web Summit is the world’s largest tech event, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives.

The event takes place during a couple of days each year and Cartina had the chance to be part of it in late 2017. We really got to experience the latest innovations and meet the frontrunners within different areas of technology – resulting in these trends.

This series consists of 8 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Lisbon. If you want to read the full report, click the button above and we will email it to you.

Here you can read about the previous trends we wrote about:

AI – Doomsday Prophecy

AI – Real World Superhero

Mad Men to Math Men


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William Lorenz

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