Marcus Wareham: Failure is at the heart of an innovation strategy

TAGs: CAI, Digital Transformation, marcus wareham

In this interview with’s Becky Liggero, Marcus Wareham of Digital Transformation gives operators some tips for their digital transformation strategy.

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Not all great inventions came out of beautifully crafted ideas. Did you know that Coca-cola, a favorite thirst quencher during the summer, wasn’t actually invented as a beverage but rather as a pain killer?

What about Penicillin? Scottish physician Alexander Fleming is recognized worldwide as the man who discovered penicillin. But if not for an accident inside his laboratory, the wonder drug would have not made known to the world.

Failure, according to Marcus Wareham of Digital Transformation, doesn’t necessarily product bad results – and so is bad idea.

Wareham pointed out that failure is always at the heart of an innovation strategy. Without it, he said that developers and inventors will no longer strive to improve and innovate their offerings.

“There’s no such thing as a bad idea. You don’t know what’s going to be adopted and what customers are going to love. So you need to go through that process rapidly. The quicker you fail, the quicker you can go through the evolution of finding the perfect product,” Wareham told “If you don’t fail, you won’t learn. If you don’t learn, you don’t move forward. Implementation of any product needs to be tested – tested thoroughly and learned from. That means, you are going to have to fail in at least some areas of the new service or features to be offered.”

In gaming, Wareham said that more and more companies are trying to innovate their digital transformation strategy to cope up with the public’s demands.

He cited William Hill Labs as one of those companies that have built units outside their head office in order to create a start-up feel and the culture that allows innovation.

“We are seeing this sort of increasingly where companies are calling out their tech teams from head office. What tends to happen in HQ is that you get suck in to business as usual as supposed actually thinking and innovating,” Wareham said.

For those who have not yet taken the first step in digital transformation strategy, Wareham said that operators may take courses on the subject. He explained that these courses will help them evaluate where they are in the readiness for digital transformation.

“No business is the same. So, it is not a question of saying: you master is like this and then it will work or do it like this or it will fail. It is a question of evaluating your own business and understanding where you are in that cycle or set-up. On top of that, we start discussing various technologies which undoubtedly are coming down the road like blockchain, and really deep-diving into what are they in reality, what do they mean, and what are the potential implementation for the gaming sector,” he explained. “And there’s an overarching piece, we look at one of the techniques to understand those technologies and when will they impact in my business, what are the consumer adoption of those technologies so that I don’t end up developing something way too early. I don’t end up developing something way too late, which is obviously a real killer. I’ve missed the boat and everybody else has gotten on it.”


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