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March 18, 2008

Nokia “wants to start sharing”

LONDON, England ‚Äì Nokia’s customer base consists of one billion customers. That’s about one sixth of humanity, according to a story in The Guardian. What better place to start when it comes to testing and evolving product concepts? Nokia already invests significant amounts in understanding its customers, but it’s projects like Morph which get instant reaction.

As Tarmo Virki writes in The Guardian “the mobile market leader is rewriting its product development rulebook”.

But it goes beyond showing off some far-out concepts. Over the last couple of years Nokia has evolved a new way of working, a new level of openness which is designed to help the company evolve to the next level.

Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight says

“For Nokia this is probably the biggest throw of the dice since they entered the cellphone business,”

Unlike product development when the company started working on mobile devices, today’s attitude is to get people involved, to listen to customers and to be open about what Nokia is working on.

Bob Ianucci, Cheif Technology Officer at Nokia describes the benefits of openness in development

“The ability to include large numbers of users into the development cycle means you can have a much more collaborative approach to development and you can try ideas out, refine them and move forward — or fail fast and get out,”

Recently Nokia has been inviting opinion-forming bloggers in the development process. Blogger Oliver Thylmann was one of those who attended an idea-generation workshop recently. Although the need to include is great, there is a limit to the sharing. That doesn’t taint the excitement of being involved though.

“Sadly I will not be able to blog about the contents but can blog about everything around and who is there. That list alone will tell you that it will be hard for the event not to turn out great.”