Ed Cotton: No To Labs-Yes To Incubators?

Brands could do worse than think about how they might get closer to start ups.

Brands could do worse than think about how they might get closer to start ups.

In recent months both Facebook and AOL have made plans for this.

Facebook is partnering with Seedcamp in Europe to provide start-ups with access to their platform, opportunities to visit Facebook HQ, etc.

This gives the company a first hand look at some of the best ideas coming from Europe and gives them the chance to interact with the teams behind them. It allows them to spot competitive threats, isolate potential opportunities through partnership and makes sure great ideas make it onto the Facebook platform.

AOL is also working with start-ups, but in a very different way.

For a brand that’s trying hard to re-build itself, start-ups have the energy, passion and drive that AOL so badly needs inside its organization.

The company’s brand new 225,000 sq ft Palo Alto office is also home to a number of its engineering staff, but also 75 others from 25 start ups who are enjoying the facilities rent free.

Why couldn’t other brands and even agencies do the same thing and set up their own incubators?

Instead of trying to grapple with the future themselves, they could and perhaps should have others to help and welcome harness the energy and drive of these young entrepreneurs which would rub off on employees.

Maybe this is a better way of thinking about the agency lab,instead of employing people to think about the future- fill your space up with people who are making the future.

(Continue reading here.)

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

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