Viewing digitalization merely as a project; an absolute no-go for any organization

Remco Livain
5 min readJul 14, 2018

“Why would I continue to invest in digital?” Oh how often I have heard these words in the last few weeks. It can be frustrating to work with great traditional entrepreneurs and organizations sometimes.

I might have underestimated what it means to be on the other side of the table. In last ten years, I had become accustomed to working exclusively with people who firmly believe that the only way forward is digital. But after founding GANDT Ventures in 2015, my role changed.

Now it has become my job to convince and preach to others, who might not be as tech savvy as the colleagues I had worked with before, that digital calls for a new investment approach. A new way of thinking. It is a whole new ballpark and it has made me realize a couple of things that I thought I would share.

1. Digitalization is done mostly within the core product and service scope of businesses

2. Digital is refererred to as project-work

3. Very few companies are patient when it comes to digital and they expect instant results

It is funny really, none of these aspects seem to come up when working with an organization on their core business. There are plenty of budgets and plans that focus on supply chain optimization, streamlining of communication and creating more brand awareness around the companies.

However, when it comes to creating new business areas and digital sales channels — it is all about cost.

Digital short term project work

When a new project needs to be marketed, traditional organizations generally do not have a problem to hire a few sales guys and let them do on the ground market tests. Regardless of the cost and how “non-scalable” these activities are, this is a way of working that they seem to understand.

But, when it comes to digital developments, the general tendency is that: “the project needs to work within 12–24 months.”

Oh how many times I have heard the sentence: “We have invested hundreds of Euros in our website, but without any significant impact.”

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Remco Livain

Dutch Digital Entrepreneur. Love to share thoughts on innovation and digitalization (ceo @gandt ventures) - writer @thestartup