Although every business is likely to proclaim its unique starting philosophy, at blur Group we’re confident that our story is a little different from most that you’ve heard. We wanted something that would embrace the new digital revolution, one that would mark the blurring of the boundaries from traditional enterprise businesses and the modern open-source technology movement. One that would take a different spin on the Creative Services Industries. Something to challenge a model that started on Madison Avenue nearly 150 years ago. It wasn’t a patent out of a university r&d, or a must have quirky app, but a desire to change an industry while embracing the world of creativity.
blur Group started recruiting crowds of Creative professionals and agencies in 2008. It liked the concept of Crowdsourcing but felt that it had to offer a bit more, to give creatives a real business opportunity, based on their creative abilities, not on their size or location or ‘name’. When it had created this community it was time to go live with the Creative Services Exchange - 2,500 creatives at the start of 2010. An online trading platform with the ability to brief any of these Creative Crowds, but managed by brief brokers so that the process benefits both the brand and the Creative. With industry-sized values, not competition prizes. With meaty design and marketing projects, from the wildest website to the most serious strategy plan. A real chance to show off creative potential to brands around the world who truly wouldn’t have known about you. blur Group also developed separate crowds as part of its build, so that there were specialists in design, marketing, innovation, art and writing. Why would a writer pitch for packaging design? Making sure that the right brief arrived in the right crowd makes for a tighter, smarter experience from both sides.
With the Creative Services Exchange open for business and bringing in new briefs and new creatives on a daily basis (12,250 creatives as of today), it was time to open out a crucial part of what had made blur Group. At the tail end of the last century, blur Group’s founder Philip Letts had started to document his experience in building startups during the era that first saw the tech industry boom. When he decided to start his own business from scratch he followed this, his own framework. Beginning with Creativity, the process of getting away from it all and just being creative. It’s no coincidence that our art crowd at b-uncut.com was the first part of blur Group: Philip’s creative outlet was a genre of photography - blur photography that saw him exhibit at galleries in Paris, London and Beirut.
So as blur Group was growing, so was this innovate framework. It was designed to reflect what an entrepreneur goes through and what they need to know at each stage. From that creative retreat through to a business that someone wants to buy, with all points in between. Useful advice, simple soundbites. Practical tips. Understanding what needs doing more than once - the dynamic nature of the activities in a startup business.
But one entrepreneur does not prove a framework. So innovate was shared with 2,000 startup businesses who’d joined the Exchange in the innovation and ideas crowd. Tested with these and advisors, investors, mentors and people who’d built businesses. Now we’ve launched innovate to the world at large. To do the science bit it’s a 7 stage, 49 step framework. Its stages are creativity, @ha idea, concept, market entry, market development, market dominance and, of course, exit. With our immersion in the creative services, our firm belief that this sector is going to drive economic growth and recognising the blurring of the creative/digital/tech space in the startup world, we see this framework as the launchpad for many creatives wanting to take the plunge.
As well as the innovate framework we’re providing recommended resources that will help support the activities. Whether it’s great advice from the coolest entrepreneur or an elite list of those firms that invest in truly innovative and creative companies, it’s all in one place.
It’s free. Deliberately so. Independent experts have put an equivalent value of $1500 on the framework for an entrepreneur. So it’s providing a real asset to you, but we want you to use it. We want you to feed back on it, and as we develop it to the next stage we’ll be letting you contribute your thoughts and experience on the different stages and steps, so it fulfils our open source beliefs. We hope that as well as using innovate you’ll want to join other entrepreneurs in the innovatrs network, or in any of our other creative crowds. You may want to kickstart your marketing cost-effectively by briefing those crowds. Most of all we want you to enjoy the process of innovate and the freedom of innovation.