Jorma Ollila: "We were very much looking at the Sales, when we should have looked much further into the future"

This is a comment from ex-CEO, ex-Chairman of the Board Jorma Ollila when he was asked in the interview why Finnish Nokia's mobile handset side lost to the competition, broke down and was later sold to Microsoft with known results.

We who have been on board the company, of course know that many other things influenced also. But one has to agree. Company was very much accustomed being a cash cow, and seemingly difficult to change the mode to cannibalise it's own product portfolio with disruptive technologies or new types of products. Somehow it was easier to make "delta products" - the same except some new improvements like better display or camera. But world does not work that way.

Financial Times article

This gives us an important lesson - stay agile and stay almost paranoid towards competition (like Intel's Andy Grove wrote in his book a long time ago, at least when measured in the internet time)

Digitalization brings new possibilities. Something that was not possible suddenly is.

Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning has not advanced, except suddenly now it has, when big data and analytics have provided the data for the "machine to learn".

Big companies are suddenly been disrupted by the new entrants. Banking will never be the same, renting and taxi business have already changed.

How should you approach this? As world has become quite unpredictable, the only way is to experiment yourself out of it.

Use Lean Startup methods to navigate in a pragmatic way to find the best products and business models. This is not some "consultant foam" but actually very pragmatic way forward.

Write assumptions on your products and markets - and test them (today in many places Product marketing/ R&D write their use cases and implement them without much verification)

Start using minimum viable products to test the markets.

Many companies seem not just to have a portfolio of products, but also portfolio of business cases.

"Lets be careful out there"

Jukka Märijärvi,

jukka.marijarvi at landon dot fi