tisdag, juni 18, 2013

The State of Innovation in Sweden - June 2013

This is a bold title.

I like bold titles. Like being the Mark "I'm CEO, Bitch" Zuckerberg. Or telling the world what the state of innovation is in Sweden.
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No other comparisons.

It kind of comes with Swedish Mentality (which I studied in the early 90-ies as a part of becoming an urban planner) that you do NOT state anything bold. You will have to eat it up.
We had this conversation today about the change in Swedish Mentality since the 80-ies, based on the queing "system" at McDonalds that used to be organized but now is a boiling chaos as the Swedes are now more "I WANT MY FOOD!!" than "I'll just stand in line and get my food when it's time".

Same goes for Innovations.

A lot of entrepreneurs are yelling like bitches all the time now. "MY INNOVATION IS THE GREATEST!! BUY!!!" and even worse. The funny thing is that Swedish Innovation was more innovative in the 1960-ies to the 1980-ies than it is now. (Cars, mobile, etc)
Now it is Wrapp. Spotify. And worse. Nothing innovative at all besides the exit models for the investors.

So I got this message on the Fb-tube today

"You've gotta love this blog post by the guy's at Tunaspot" and it was linked to http://www.tunaspot.com/dear-coca-cola-thank-you/ so I read it.

Let us go back in time.

In 2006 I ran a startup called Dirigo. Mainly financed by Almi Innovation. It was created on the foundation of Emappz that was the first advertising financed Turn-by Turn navigation "app" (before apps) company. Killed by Google more or less. But Dirigo had something new. A social app (widget) for J2ME that showed the proximity of content (text, music, sound, video) from your epicenter. We had a radar and all. Nice.
Alexander called up, a connection was trying to source the production of a device that could present recorded content to people wearing the device, focused on visitors to parks, resorts entertainment etc and the idea was to rended playlists based on proximity of positioning.

So we designed a device, a platform and the architecture was open so it could be used for any other geo-focused application. The question came up to launch a geo-proximity playlist for iTunes or other mp3-like system. Johan that was involved with Loudeye, bought by Nokia in 2006, told me that this was something that could attract the big kahunas. But would cost a lot of marketing to both sides.

So we looked at it me and Alexander. What we came up with was that it was a) very difficult to go cross platform b) difficult to protect and c) difficult to monetize as people had started to view apps (widgets) as free of charge instead of cool to buy.

Dumped it. Hard.

Back to the future. Now.

Tunaspot. Innovation at its peak. Well, no. It is now copied, killed and wasted effort. The bitterness I was accussed of (!) last week regarding the handling of Qubulus, is now handed over to the guys at Tunaspot (I know them and I feel guilty of using them as an example of non-innovation, sorry guys you are now ok to kick my ass at any time!!) so that I can write this.

Next. Wrapp. What the F-CK is this about?? It is so nice, it is so well packaged. It is so easy to copy, it is nothing to do with innovation, it is an haute coutoure app at it's best-

Spotify. they call it an innovation. Mostly I'd say in it's financial department. Not in the apps and services. I am a HARDCORE heavy metal fan. I have a record collection of +5000 records, cd's and EP's-. My friends the same. What we find on Spotify. Christina Aguielera. And similar. AAARRRGGH:

Innovation? I'll tell you what innovation is.

It is something that changes something. So adding a feature to an existing service. No. It is not innovation. To build an app that offers a service that used to be physical and now is digital. No. It is not an innovation. To improve what someone else innovated. No. It is not innovation.

I think that most people today, in all good intents, use the word innovation instead of adjusted, improved, altered etc.

To come up with a new way of distributing parcels? Innovation. To launch a new way to distribute the same parcels as before? No innovation. Improvement.

To alter physical distribution to digital distribution? Alteration. No innovation. The digital channel is already there, you use it for new things to distribute but the innovation lied in the the creation of the digital channel not the usage of it for new products, that probably lied within the scope of the creation of the channel and cannot be accounted for by the new player using this channel.

You see my point?

So I'd say, looking at the state of the Swedish Innovation of today, it is in really good shape when it comes to biomed and traditional production tech. But for mobile and consumer services? Not good. Not even close.

Go home, do your homework, see what needs to be done in audio, video, cellular, chipset and sensors. Then get back on track.

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