Watched an interview with Ilkka Raiskinen, Senior Vice President, Context, Advertising & Emerging Markets, for Nokia this morning. Discussion centred around Innovation.
Nokia have targets for innovation – eg certain employees have to meet targets for patent applications. He said that often shocks were needed to promote innovation - for example the iPhone in terms of handset design - and they can come from inside and outside “Nothing energises you more than a tough competitor”
In order to be a successful, innovative company, good portfolio management is needed to balance the high risk, high reward initiatives with the cash cows.
Sometimes innovative ideas have to wait for a demand in the market before they can be implemented. For example, Nokia had working on navigation for 10 years, but had to wait for the right time before deploying it - cost of sets to come down, and customer demand ie using them in cars.
He gave a demo of a Nokia phone knowing where you were, bringing up a map, finding the nearest pizza company, being able to dial the number and showing you a satellite image. All very clever, but the iPhones's been doing it for a while. His point was that this sort of application needed lots of partnering, and that most innovation was collaborative. and about partnering. Lot of IP and technology behind it not visible to consumers.
He was asked whether there was a role for open source in the commercial world, and he thought there was - especailly where you needed to bridge over multiple companies. and when you needed to make rapid changes.
In terms of taking risk - he quoted his grandparent who said, if the boat's not squeaking, it's not moving.
Finally he was asked how you stop good people leaving the company - his reply - "put the company HQ in Finland and if they join you you know they're serious….."
Good chat - enjoyed it.