When big companies want to think like little startups, they call James Haycock.

James is the MD of Adaptive Lab – a London-based digital innovation agency that works with brands like Barclays, ASOS and YouGov. He’s also written a book called Bye Bye Banks? which caught my eye, so I asked him about disruption in finance.

james haycock

We talked about:
• How he ‘translates’ startup thinking into a language big corporates can understand;
• The trouble with telling established brands to ‘fail fast’;
• Why banking’s ripe for disruption (and how big banks can protect themselves);
• The problem with business cases;
• How to get new innovations to market once they’re built;
• Why FinTech startups don’t have to ‘win’ for banks to lose;
• And why brands with a ‘helping people’ proposition end up better off financially.

James on…

Learning fast:

I don’t like the term fail fast, I prefer the term learn fast.

What businesses get wrong:

But businesses really struggle taking stuff out to market, they are terrified of putting things in front of customers that aren’t necessarily as polished as they might usually be.

So big corporates do a big bang launch on that and that is it: it is a big above the line push or they don’t do it.

What businesses can get right:

There is a different way to take things out: you start a little bit smaller and you get into market and you learn from doing that and you learn if it is the right solution to the problem and you learn if it is the right customer segment.


People Tell Richard Stuff: Episode 13
James Haycock, ‎Managing Director, Adaptive Lab

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James Haycock, ‎managing director, Adaptive Lab