With the massive layoffs in the Indian Web 2.0 Technology Aggregator Space, as most of the VC fuelled paranoia fades away, example Snapdeal as cash is burned to capture market space, and the innovation edge is lost, finally the cash flow blues are hitting home. We need less alpha male adventurism and more bottom line rationale. Where are the good old times of building a supply chain and a clientele. Aggregators were once innovation in the transport, e-retail and food space. Now they are modular replications and a digital layer on to traditional commerce what the business+tech media calls old school brick and mortar. This however does not mean that traditional mall retail is heading for a comeback. Consumers are used to the home delivery comfort. Big Data and Machine Learning is disrupting Cntrl C+Cntrl V Consulting and Market Research. Print Media is laying off staff like there is no tomorrow. A few outlets like Monocle and FT shall make money because of quality. Sectors like International Development and Infrastructure will utilise new digital tools for non physical cross sector work. The era of Geographically Distributed Work is here even for International Development. The focus is on quality and how old school competitive edge can be sustained to deliver a sustainable bottom line.

Innovation from the employee standpoint is critical with unlearning and relearning as most of the technical knowledge is on the cloud. The essence is in the context, and how solutions can be delivered in no time. Government sector work is traditional, but disruption is up the alley there as well, with geotagging and real time data for program evaluation. We have to fly the plane while building it. Every employee is an innovator. There is no concrete philosophy in the era of the digital but some academic has to write it up.

Non Profits as Innovation Incubators

Fund Raising is the common concern of start ups and nonprofits. I guess Innovation should be another core strand in that aesthetic. Any venture which is innovative, is not in alignment with the existing structures of commerce and social constructs. Aggregators have clicked because of the convenience it renders to the consumer. They are connectors, and when they started, they were innovative, now they are the status quo, an important characteristic of the status quo is when even the established business class, the traditional mercantile groups globally whether it is the baniya or the east coast jew, or the west coast VC jump in not to solve issues via disruption, as no one does disruption or innovation out of the blue. The vexed matters such as urban homelessness have been around for decades, no one has seen money being made easily. The aggregators have a proof of concept. Lets make sanitation sexy as Jack Sim says. Or let’s make the difficult classy. Innovation works on many hierarchies. Innovation, does not pay upfront, as there is no market. That market has to be curated.

Non Profits are true incubators of disruptive ideas, start ups have a valuation imperative. Non Profit start ups, have funding issues, but they can be a grant magnet very easily once they have built the correct platform. Prasoon Kumar whom i am working with has a great innovative product for the urban homeless, is right up the alley for creating a ripple.