Steve Jobs is a genius with not much more to prove at Apple. How would you motivate your self as Steve Jobs if you were to speak at yet one more keynote. It’s time for some new challenges.
Nokia is left behind when it comes to softwares and other development, Apple’s iPad opened a new market, which Nokia can’t compete with. Their leadership is weak, CEOs are fired and talents are leaving. Regardless of the situation, Nokia is the largest producer of mobile-phones in the world.
Apple is enormously creative compared to Nokia, but the Finns are stronger in technology, organization and production. In other words, in my opinion they are the perfect unique match. Why? Sony and Ericsson did match up to meet competition better. Now the market is much more complex, Internet is moving to become mobile in a level we’ve never seen before, the iPad is only the first signal of that evolution.
If Steve Jobs would stand up at the next Keynote declaring he’s the new CEO of Nokia Apple fans would believe he was joking (or gone crazy). Then when he’d start to speak some words in Finnish and they’d stop laughing.
Strategy is to make the unthinkable doable.
When Steve Jobs starts to work as CEO at Nokia, all other brands in the IT sector are going to panic. Why? They will understand that big things are going to happen, but they won’t know what. So they will spend enormous sums of money in developing a lot of meaningless product-development that will only make them weaker.
They will fear that Apple and Nokia will merge into “Applia.”
But what Steve Jobs should start with is to save Nokia from bad leadership. And when that is done, to save Apple from too much creativity, which can be done by combining it with the structured organization that Nokia’s team can offer.
When Steve Jobs comes back to Apple at the next Keynote and pronounces that he’s going to combine the strengths of Nokia and Apple and they’re going to be enormous. At that Keynote he then will be able to continue by presenting new products and softwares that changes everything in IT, mobile, television, music, movies and even shopping (online and offline). And the best of all is that this will be the first time that he can deliver directly around the globe, so competition will be totally left behind.
If and when this is done, fans can do more than believe – they can buy into the future in technology (that otherwise would be for sale only after their kids have grown up).
Recently it is reported in media that fans of soccer teams are behaving strangely. Violence is nothing new, but this time the soccer fans direct it against their own teams! Why? Because they don’t think their team is performing in the way they should, so they transform from fans to enemy hooligans.
I think we will see the same phenomena repeat for many brands, their fans will turn against them if they believe their brand is not delivering what it should. If brands don’t deliver or score goals of innovation, fans will simple revolt online and offline in shops and perhaps even in the headquarters. Why? Brand leadership means never standing still, always run for the next innovation or development. If fans of one brand experience other brands as better they will transform into enemy hooligans and go against their own brand.
Brands that have seen this happen is MySpace, Ericsson and Lewis. Apple could become one of them because they do not in my opinion understand how fast they must run their innovation when they have as many and passionate fans as they got (a strategic competitor can use this to their advantage).
Regarding to a report done by Episerver, is most brands not good at using social media at their websites. Special Swedish brands need to improve their websites.
We’ve benchmarked the Engaged Web for the first time, setting out where we are now, how brands are taking steps to innovate and highlighting the glaring areas of neglect. This report also provides recommendations on practical steps that businesses of all sizes can take to move forward in a more engaging way.
Episerver.com (download the report for free).
Down to Earth is a mind-challenging project based on an open innovation process with a clear purpose:
Commercializing Space Technologies for a Sustainable Earth. Downtoearth.se
To lead and to land such a challenging project as Down to Earth you need a person that has the ability to make a lot of different people dance well together. Initiator and Managing Director of Umbilical Design, Cecilia Hertz has got that ability – and also the feeling, passion and knowledge to make it work – according to me she is a true Space DJ.
Cecilia’s goal is to link space technologies to earthly problems – such as energy, water, air and living space – to be able to find new solutions. To make all of this happen Cecilia has put together a Dream Team on the dance-floor, with several what she calls “why-not”-people from various corporations and organizations along with Jönköping International Business School.
I asked Cecilia what type of companies that are in most need of new innovations. She responded quickly “All!” She also explained that the goal of the Down to Earth project is not only to put space materials into new use on earth but also to develop conceptual thinking in the Down to Earth Innovation Process. To be a truly innovative company it is necessary to open up for innovation and not to be over protective about your own ideas. When companies have picked up their choice of top ranked ideas for further development, the remaining ideas will not be discharged but put into the Down to Earth “outcubator” where students and researchers are encouraged to develop and take the ideas further.
The first phase of the project is now exhibited at the Swedish Pavilion / Shanghai World Expo 2010 in the “Better City, Better Life” exhibition.
If you ask Cecilia “Why space?” she will respond “Because our earth depends on it!”
If your company would like to be a dancing partner to Cecilia Hertz and her team they can be reached here.
I attended the Tendensdagen which is one of the leading marketing seminars in Scandinavia.
This year the topic was innovation and the speakers were giving us power to become more innovative in marketing and business. Keywords that most of the speakers where using: Keep it simple. Consumers. Employers. Management. Mobile.
The day was full of good speakers, but most of al I appreciated the mingle at Tendensdagen which I think is one of the most important formes of tribe meetings in the marketing community of Scandinavia.
I will later write about the content from the best speeches.
The power of the consumer is stronger than ever. Yet, the gap between what a company promises and what consumers experience has never been larger. A good way of close the Gap between consumers and the company/Gap is to show their fans that even the CEO will listen to their consumers. For fans this is an insurance that the brand not will lose it’s DNA in the future.
Canaries were once regularly used in coal mining as an early warning system. Toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane in the mine would kill the bird before affecting the miners. Wikipedia.org
The way we treat Mother Earth, the planet might become toxic just like the old mine. I met a company that had the solution to indicate if the environment is safe ore not, SenSiC. I spontaneously said to them: “So you sell Canaries?” I wasn’t sure if they had that in mind when they developed their innovation, but still it is and will be an enormous market. Their innovation will be built in into cars, watches and all traffic systems – everywhere where we live and want to survive. Canaries do make sense even if you’re not an engineer – an early bird singing a song of warning.
I visited the Stockholm Cleantech Venture Day. Swedes are enormously innovative but the innovations will not have any value if the rest of the world won’t find them. This day was a good way of showcasing solutions both for sellers and potential clients and investors. The US is a role-model in getting the government to support cleantech investments (a billion dollar market). Two of the keynote speakers this day emphasized the importance of governmental support, also stating that Swedish cleantech is already attracting international attention, by this giving hope to innovators venturing to create Swedish green dollars.
The main innovations presented during the day were solving – or deliver value for – mother nature’s resources in the field of clean and renewable energy sources such as solar-, wind- and water power, biogas, etc.
I asked investors what they where looking for in the companies they were thinking of investing in:
1. The Team (read: Management, know-how).
2. Innovation (read: The maturity and development stage).
3. Demand (read: Commercial potential. Does it solve ore replace a well-known demand or need today?)
The points mentioned above were the Swedish investors’ top clues to investing or not. The German investors used the same steps but in the opposite order.
Two innovators that got a lot of buzz and interest from investors were Solvatten and HiNation.
One investor said that is was important that the solution made sense. If people don’t understand how it works it will not be a success, for example myFC that even if they deliver a smart solution it isn’t as easy to grasp as the solutions of Solvatten and HiNation. Maybe the solution to this would be to design a “make sense dimension” into the innovation?
If Swedes where equally good at selling and marketing cleantech, as they were at coming up with new great ideas, the cleantech sector would create more jobs than any other business field in Sweden. But for this to happen we need to active the Green Vikings™ and really start exporting – so that Swedish green tech also can turn into green dollars for Sweden.