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Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire walks with Me ...

An internal memo sent by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop broke out on the internet, just before the deal with Microsoft was announced. This memo presented Nokia company as a burning platform ...
When I read that memo, and do not ask me why, I thought at David Lynch movies "Twin Peaks" and "fire walks with me" !

Each company today should be ready for "creative destruction" identified with the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter, who adapted and popularized it as a theory of economic innovation and progress. Creative destruction means that you should walk with the fire around you and be ready for going through ... without being severely burnt or die.

I imagine then each company like a Mario Bros Game, trying to walk away from fire, from platforms to platforms, keeping what can be kept and "killing" what should be. Of course, the later you take the decision in front of fire, the more destructive it is. Two recent examples are "BlockBuster" vs. Netflix or "Borders" vs. "Amazon". In both cases the former companies died or are about to.

HP and Palm were able to make a great come back on the mobile world today. New innovative products, great technology and "whaow effect" at the mobile world congress. Apple is always trying to "walk with fire", by releasing new products/devices just in time ... Not too early, not too late and with a great marketing around.

All the recent highly successful companies have one point in common, they master somehow the full product lifecycle and the platform they use: from design, building, and up to digital or brick and mortar store. Facebook is also a great example ...

Company have no choice now, they should invest massively to walk with fire. Not easy for most of them... As Charlie Wollborg said on twitter: "If you think innovation is expensive, just wait until you see what a lack of innovation does to your bottom line."

This will also lead to hire/create new profiles in companies having the following capabilities:
  • Customer focused: mastering how to do mass market with Hyper personalization and respect of data privacy;
  • IT aware: you will still need to get the best of your legacy, aka. the content and the business core services. SOA was the term used some years ago, now we talk of API (light, easy, open, manageable, personalized) and Integration in the cloud.
  • Cloud native: leverage SaaS, IAAS, PAAS to the max.
  • Socially Innovative: co-creation, co-development of new services. Requires the capability to find the right suppliers around the world and to define a "sustainable" business model.
  • Multi-channel enablers: Designing apps/web site for smartphone, tablets, TV, PC,... but also fridge, cars, etc. (communicating objects)
  • Security and digital payment aware: At the end, it is all about money ... and secured exchanges.
One of the example of this new type of resource is called : "Marketing Technologist" (see this blog to know more for example). Their motto is "Leverage what's inside the company when still possible and associate it with the best new technology/products inside/outside the company in order to provide new/more revenues".

That is my job currently ;) and I can tell you ... "Fire walks with me".