Out-Innovate the Pandemic

May 05, 2020
In partnership with Tatarklubben, AmCham held the second virtual event. This time members had a chance to meet Alex Lazarow from Cathay Innovation. He gave an insight into his new book "Out-Innovate" in the current perspective and introduced members with the new innovation playbook to survive during the pandemic. 

He explained that over the past few decades, Silicon Valley has codified what a startup should look like, dictated how it should be built, and defined what its culture should be. However, the Silicon Valley model doesn’t work everywhere, and has even shown cracks at home. Now the world of innovation has went global and it is time for some refresh air. Watch the livestream video here.

In OUT-INNOVATE: How Global Entrepreneurs–from Delhi to Detroit–Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley Alex Lazarow reveals that revolution is already well under way at the Frontier, outside the most-developed startup ecosystems, where entrepreneurs are out-innovating their Silicon Valley counterparts. 

The pandemic has revealed how Silicon Valley’s focus on breeding unicorns has failed; Silicon Valley’s blasé approach of moving fast and breaking things is not tolerable when acceptance of risk is lower and the consequences of failure are high. Frontier Innovators raises camels that can capitalize on opportunity but also survive a drought. They do not focus on growth at any cost, but sustainability and resilience. Frontier Innovators manage risk, build customer trust, and formalize their industries.  


Alex Lazarow has worked at the intersection of investing, innovation, and economic development across the public, private, and social sectors for more than a decade. He is a venture capitalist with Cathay Innovation and was previously with Omidyar Network. He is a Kauffman Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations term member, and an adjunct professor specializing in social-impact investment and entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Manitoba.
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