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GOGOVAN: HOW DRUCKER'S INSIGHTS ON INNOVATION RESONATED WITH A GROWING START-UP OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Reference No. 18/004 Publication Year 2018
Author(s) Steve Yang, W H LO
Company GoGoVan
Industry Logistics
Geographic setting Hong Kong
Functional Area Drucker's Management; Innovation/ Entrepreneurship

Synopsis

GoGoVan was an innovative start-up established in Hong Kong by Steven Lam (“Lam”) and his partners in 2013. The company operated an online logistics platform that had completely revamped the operation of the delivery service industry of the city. The platform used to be free for van drivers but had recently decided to start charging them for using the platform. When questioned about this recent decision, Lam said it was a move to validate if the GoGoVan platform had a market value. This resonated with Drucker’s view on “profit” ¾ “Profit is not the explanation, cause or rationale of business behaviour or business decisions, but rather the test of their validity.” In fact, the story of GoGoVan’s birth in many ways reflected the management teaching of Drucker.

For instance, how Lam and his partners came across the innovative opportunity of developing a technology-based mobile platform for organizing a delivery service was consistent with the seven sources of innovation discussed by Drucker in his article “The Discipline of Innovation” and in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This innovative idea ended up revamping the inefficient legacy operation mode of Hong Kong’s delivery service industry.

In the first instance, how the start-up surmounted the challenges involved in turning an innovative idea into a popular application used by most drivers and customers requiring delivery services in Hong Kong was just another vivid reflection of Drucker’s principles of innovation.

Where did the sources of innovation for GoGoVan come from? In what ways did the formation of GoGoVan’s platform reflect Drucker’s views on innovation and his insights on how innovation should be managed? And what were the key implications to organizations in the twenty first century?