Nokia unable to innovate? 19:24 on Thursday

I hate it when people at Nokia say they’re too big for innovation. That they would innovate but they can’t. That they would dramatically improve their tiny corner of the product offering, but they can’t.

Speaking at Nokia Open Lab, Ovi manager Udo Szabo added that Nokia can only create capabilities. Capabilities for others to innovate on top on.

First of all: what kind of attitude is that?? Did you guys over at Nokia just give up because you happen to have over 40.000 smart colleagues and you feel it’s too much? Bohoo?

The second question is, what capability has Nokia created in the last two years? Five? What platform for open innovation has Nokia successfully set up?

5 Responses to “Nokia unable to innovate?”


  1. Janne Says:

    I don’t know about Udo, but I certainly innovated my brain out during the past five years in the company… almost literally. Set up even an open innovation platform (NFC) ;-)

    But I agree – what a horrible thing to say. It demeans a lot of hard-working Nokians.

  2. Niko Says:

    And to be clear, I don’t want to demean Udo either. I’ve heard the same, or similar comments from other Nokians. It feels like nobody considers themselves empowered to cause change. (Except you of course. ;)

  3. Tommi Vilkamo Says:


    For example, I see my work – and the people I work with – as a total opposite of these statements. And looking from outside, Nokia is constantly named as one of the world’s innovative companies (for example, I think it was in top-10 in BusinessWeek and Fast Company listings for 2008)

    This must have been some kind of misunderstanding.

  4. samin Says:

    I call that nonsense as well. But.

    For example, Nokia Design has more than a few of the minds I know so surely coming up with groundbreaking new ideas is not the problem. Instead of what I’ve seen it’s more about great ideas and solution getting diluted along the way down in the product management chain. Too many people have their say, whereas great design needs personal vision, commitment, ownership and willpower. In other words, a dictator.

    Don’t agree? Then think of for example Steve Jobs,Rem Koolhas, Massimo Vignelli (the man behind NYC subway maps), Tyler Brule of Wallpaper / Monocle fame.. or any other great design achievement.

  5. Niko Says:

    I would like to think it is possible to release groundbreaking products without a dictator. This is yet to be proved though. ;) And I agree: people resigning themselves from the opportunity of innovating is a management/HR/culture issue.