The Blocks Are There. Now Build.
Get a ride, find a place to sleep, listen to some music. Trivial? Definitely. And often a basis for a successful, ground-breaking business plan.
The key is to spot and develop a mundane need into a scalable business. It’s now easier than ever.
The cloud is full of off-the-shelf technologies for location services, ordering, making payments, analytics – the list goes on and on. Manage to arrange them in just the right way and voilà! You have a new product! The only extra ingredient you need is a mind-blowing user experience.
Estonia took the inevitable as an opportunity and officially allowed Uber to operate, but Finland sees it as threat to the existing system. These are battles that are lost before they have even begun.
The new always beats the old. Nokia started as a newcomer who managed to beat out the incumbents. Surprisingly quickly, however, the company was surpassed by new market entrants. Now that Nokia has gone through another strategic transformation, there have been excellent results.
Finland has a similar situation. The building blocks are there: a functioning society, highly-educated people, a high-quality standard of living, and a progressive attitude towards technology. The user experience, however, is starting to fade. Negativity and passivity are gaining ground.
Now, we need to rearrange some blocks in order to get the updated version of Finland to the market. The most important factor is attitude. Both enterprise and government need to embrace change.
Here are three elements that I consider to be key to unlocking Finland’s future:
- Ambition is attitude. The young Finnish generation of students is very entrepreneurial and they realize that the world is the market. It’s time to think big.
- Make coalitions. Our traditional heavy industries are a great flowerbed for innovations in the Internet of Things. The state and the cities should take on a stronger role in integrating privately-produced services in their activities. Mobile parking services are a great example where the expertise of private service providers is not being fully utilized.
- Don’t waste resources. As chairman of the board of Tampere University of Technology, I have worked to create the “Tampere 3” structure which combines us with the University of Tampere and the University of Applied Sciences. Together we can provide more, higher quality education to the students and conduct better research. At the same time, we are able to save resources.
Tero Ojanperä is currently the chairman of the board at Tampere University of Technology and Kiosked, and managing director at Vision+.