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How Tech Adoption Fuels China’s Innovation Boom

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Zak Dychtwald, founder of the advisory firm Young China Group, believes that the perception of China as a copycat and not an innovator is outdated. Instead, he argues the willingness of Chinese consumers to try new things is powering the country’s new innovation economy. Technology adoption rates in areas such as mobile payment are extremely high. He says non-Chinese companies can learn important lessons from this rapidly changing market and potentially use it to jump-start their own innovation engines. Dychtwald is the author of the HBR article “China’s New Innovation Advantage.”

Canva: Melanie Perkins

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When she was just 19 years old, Melanie Perkins dreamt of transforming the graphic design and publishing industries. But she started small, launching a site to make yearbook design simpler and more collaborative. Her success with that first venture—and an unexpected meeting with a VC investor—eventually landed her the backing to pursue her original idea, and the chance to take on software industry titans like Adobe and Microsoft. Today, Melanie’s online design platform Canva is valued at $6 billion, joining the list of Australia’s “unicorn” companies.

The Next Wave of Marketplace Startups

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In the tech world, marketplaces are a hot topic. That term—marketplace—encompasses a huge swath of services we use every day, from grocery delivery to online shopping to remote learning. How have marketplace dynamics changed since pre-pandemic, and what COVID-propelled consumer behaviors will persist into 2021 and beyond?

In this episode, we discuss the most promising marketplace companies and categories on the rise, based on data from the Marketplace 100, a ranking of the largest and fastest-growing consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies.

The report provides rich fodder for looking ahead at the future of marketplaces: Which companies are on a tear and which are locked in close competition? Which marketplace categories are poised for growth, and which may make a comeback?