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April 22, 2010

Who are you Tommi Vilkamo?

Tommi_VilkamoGLOBAL – Continuing on our quest to meet the people that make Nokia tick this week we caught up with Tommi Vilkamo. Tommi heads up Nokia Beta Labs. Beta Labs is the community hub of beta applications and services. He’s been with Nokia since 2002 in a wide range of roles from strategy to innovation and software development. He holds a MSc degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Helsinki University of Technology.

We fired some questions at Tommi and here are his answers.

The first thing I do on a Monday morning is press the snooze button.

If I hadn’t landed into this industry due to an historical accident eight years ago, god knows what I would be doing. Life works in mysterious ways, and it sure isn’t predictable. But that’s the fun part of it.

If I’ve had a bad day I plan to be grumpy for the rest of the day and dwell in my misery. But somehow, my wife and newborn son usually manage to do something magical to ruin this magnificent plan.

It’s tough to name one person as my greatest inspiration because I have so many of them. Stanley Kubrick. Michael Jordan. Richard Feynman. Scott Adams. Stuart Kaufmann. James Hetfield. Luke Rhinehart. Salvador Dali. Martin Seligman. MacGyver. Charles Darwin. Seth Godin. Kahil Gibran. Clint Eastwood’s man-with-no-name. Malcom Gladwell. Brian Tracy. Clayton Christensen. Chuck Palahniuk. Hugh MacLeod. John Lennon. Siddhartha Gautama. Nicholas Nassim Taleb. Rocky Balboa. I guess I’m inspired more by ideas and actions and unique displays of character/style than individual people as such.

I currently have no friends on my homescreen. It’s not about having any friends, but my homescreen is currently quite a mess. Too much experimentation with proto devices and software carries its price.

I’m curious about everything in life, and I love learning new stuff.

I live by the quote:  “Always look on the bright side of life” -Monty Python

Right now, I’m excited about the vacation we just booked for Santorini, Greece. One of my wife’s best friends is getting married there to an Irishman, and it’ll be our first trip abroad together with our newborn baby boy.

I guess one of my most annoying habits
is my tendency to get lost in my own thoughts instead of paying due attention to what is said. You might need to ask my cubicle neighbours, though, as there could be others.

Winston Wolf
would play me as a fictional character

Not a single book has changed my life, but several ones. Some have changed me more, some just a tiny bit. I’m a voracious reader, and easily influenced by books. In fact, I have a bad habit of internalizing too much of what I have just read – up to the point of annoying people around me with too much excitement with the latest idea.

I’d say Friday is my favourite day of the week. After violently emptying my email inbox with David Allen’s GTD spirit, I love to take a step back and reflect on the past week, and do some action planning for the future. Not to speak of building anticipation for weekend fun stuff, of course.

The last thing I do before going to bed is daydream about something totally impractical.

I’d invent a gadget that would solve the problem of what is consciousness. It would wake up one day and say “cogito ergo sum”, becoming a conscious being with free will. Or, alternatively, it would prove that human consciousness and free will is only an illusion. I’m not sure would I dare to turn on that gadget.

Practical jokes and plain fooling
around have me in stitches.

I’m not scared of much except for what I’m going to say in my forthcoming Nobel peace prize speech.