Over the past few decades, we humans have learned from hard experience that today’s world’s problems are multifaceted and cannot be solved with a single lens approach. The need for cross-disciplinary startups to step up and tackle these problems is clearer than ever.
Startups of the past used a very limited interdisciplinary approach in tackling problems, and I even dare say that a substantial number of startups were mostly trying to make money; their solutions often produced more complex problems. Take Facebook as an example. Facebook started as a platform for social interaction but nobody took the burden at that time to think about its possible sociopolitical, environmental, and fake-news propagation effects. The mental health effects of Instagram on teenagers and even adults is another example.
We acknowledge that these are much more complex problems just to be blamed on Facebook or Instagram. But, we cannot deny that if these startups used a multidisciplinary approach in their design, they would have probably considered the possible effects of their platforms.
The problem is that startups tend to focus on the core of the problem and ignore other effects. The more we experience the results of human actions on planetary level, the more we realize even the seemingly smallest problems might need a multifaceted complex solution in place.
Entrepreneurs and startups should be concerned about interdisciplinary solutions from their very beginning. No matter how big or small a business is, it should consider other problems it might create. Most importantly, these startups should rely on the support of other disciplines to make sure their product lives up to its expectations. With all the positive effects it brings to people’s everyday life, technology is still an unknown territory for many people that need guidance from other disciplines in order to understand its full potential and develop a habit of using it in a healthy way. Because of the nature of of today’s startup world, where money plays a significant role in the success of startups, it might be hard for young companies to find an investment that would guarantee them financial security while at the same time supplying them with funds for interdisciplinary teams. However, in today’s world there are ways, like crowdfunding, for startups to find funding that enables them to adopt a multidisciplinary approach.
I do believe that the most future-proof and sustainable direction for startups is to use a multidisciplinary approach in tackling problems. And this takes not only knowing several domains but also understanding the effects of your solutions on these domains.
The need for interdisciplinary startups is clearer than ever given today’s world challenges and we must determinedly move in that direction. At Indimed, we are committed to an interdisciplinary, forward thinking approach when it comes to startups and innovative ideas. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals must become every startup’s core tenets. All of us need to realize how important it is to try our best to ensure a sustainable future for every living creature on this planet.