As the business mantra goes, ‘disrupt or die’ – it might sound dramatic, but if you aren’t constantly trying to evolve to stay one step ahead of the pace of change, you risk being guzzled up by competition.
Sage have been upping our innovation game over the past couple of years, with best-in-class cloud products like Sage One and Pegg, the world’s first accounting chatbot, using artificial intelligence to make accounting as easy as texting. Whatever your industry, disruption is key – and no one knows this better than our top celebrity speakers who will be joining us at Sage Summit UK this week in London. Here, we explore how these experts are changing the game.
Martha Lane Fox: dotcom billionaire turned digital campaigner
Lane Fox founded lastminute.com when she was just 25, and at the height of the dotcom boom, the site was floated on the London Stock Exchange for £571m. In 2015, Lane Fox gave a Dimbleby lecture focussed on the importance of improving the UK’s digital skills. Lane Fox is now Executive Chair of Doteveryone, the charity that aims to open up access to technology and use it to change the world for the better.
Jamal Edwards: changing the face of the music industry
What started as uploading videos of friends rapping to YouTube so his wider friend circle could watch them has turned into a multi-billion pound music empire for Jamal. It wasn’t until four years after he started that the entrepreneur got his first cheque from YouTube, after being turned down by them three times when asking for a share of advertising revenues on his videos. Content sharing sites like YouTube have changed everything in the music industry, and Jamal spotted this trend before the mainstream. “The internet has created a global space, so people need to think globally from the get go,” Jamal says. “When I said I wanted to be an entrepreneur at school, I was told I needed to work in a shop but now when I go into schools people are thinking differently.”
Kelly Hoppen MBE: using technology to revolutionise interior design
Never one to be happy with the status quo, Hoppen is constantly pushing the boundaries in interior design, using technology to reimagine what is possible. In January 2016, Hoppen teamed up with magician Dynamo to create a range of illusion wallpaper, for Graham & Brown in aid of The Princes Trust, using the latest print technology to create 3D-esque designs that trick the eye. And earlier this year, cruise ship Celebrity Edge – with interiors designed by Hoppen – launched, using 3D technology at every step of the design process. At the launch, guests could check out the view from every single seat on the ship using 3D goggles.
Sahar Hashemi: championing innovation in businesses big and small
Coffee Republic founder and inspirational speaker Sahar Hashemi knows that businesses whatever their size need to think like a start-up to succeed. “The pace of change now is such that being big now is no longer enough and can be a disadvantage in fact,” she says. “You very much need to mimic start-ups in terms of fast execution and using technology to meet customer needs.” Hashemi is now heading up the government’s Scale-Up Taskforce to try to foster growth and innovation amongst UK businesses, and will be chairing a panel on the subject at Sage Summit London.