Apple, Nokia, Google and all the others – start listening and talking

june29_2010 021 @saarikko Apple has been able to build a religion based on the support from very loud and loyal believers and active congregations around the globe. The most influential supporters and developers being in USA. Nokia’s beliefs are in engineering and logistics, production and product features. Apple used to have evangelists thirty years ago (@jwa Kawasaki). Nokia is proud of its production expertise. It’s a product manager driven company. And they sure have a lot of products!

Apple’s cultural approach to mobile computing came from desktop publishing and easy to use computer expertise. Nokia tried to leap into mobile computer handsets from mobile devices. Their cultures are very different: Apple succeeded to grab the role of global mobile innovator in the eyes of millions of active and loyal supporters.

Nokia’s top management has a communication problem. They don’t get their message to the press, not the bloggers, not to social media, not to their users and not even to the share-holders. They have problems negotiating with the powerful telecom operators.

Nokia has been using its might and power as a weapon. Apple’s Steve Jobs is more like a persuasion personality. The rock-star performer and sleek salesman. Neither of these companies do have an open culture. But it looks like Apple uses reflection as a learning method better than Nokia. Listening to past experiences is important.


There is a long way to go before managers learn to listen to what their clients want from themselves. Corporations do have big R&D departments where specialists are separated from the chaotic outside world and where they still create their innovations like in old-time monasteries.

But the time of OPEN INNOVATION is just about to emerge.

Nokia could move into this movement on a global scale. Nevertheless, that requires huge changes in corporate cultures, management and leadership. But any company can start TODAY.

There aren’t too many Enterprise 2.0 companies in this world - yet.

My advice is: let the clients get into to the driving seat. SMS didn’t become a success through effective marketing. The kids made it! We’re the Tamagotchis that developers should play with. We’re the world. Tear down the walls of R&D and marketing. Corporate leaders shouldn’t have an office at all. They should meet with people in the streets as much as with technology partners and investors.

Barack Obama did it and became the first black president of his country. Now, Barack is isolated from the crowds and the open discussion is left to other personalities. There is no final solution, but we live in the Facebook, Twitter, Qaiku, blogging, Web 2.0 Social Media era and enterprises have to adapt – NOW.

There is no perfect world, no perfect companies, but in the time of mass production and consumption, the users have an immense impact on the success of any companies. The big ones have to learn that fast or they aren't going to last.

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