No, I am not turning megalomaniac :-) It’s just an interesting question to pose, and also one that I was asked during the interview.
So, Nokia is the market leader in the mobile device market and it is profitable. Still, it has to adapt, as the whole market is transforming at an ever faster pace. Business in 2009 is quite different than it was in the year 2000 (when its stock price reached its peak). It is not about merely producing and selling, it is about satisfying the needs of the well-informed, smart consumer as best as you can.
Anyways, after I’ve thought about it for a while, my plan for Nokia would be something like this:
- Transform in a faster, smarter, more agile and more creative Company ;-) Seriously, get some of the top-creatives and top-thinkers of the market (Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook) into Nokia corporation. Actively pursue them and convince them about the vast possibilities at Nokia. Give them space to operate, and listen to them and continue the transformation process throughout all operations (HR, communications, R&D, Services, etc).
- Create a fast, easy-to-use mobile device with the best possible browser experience. The Mobile Web = The Internet, period! And don’t worry, app stores are not the future. But, the browser is!
- Get a foot in the US market: Yes, that is were the action was happening the last decade, and that’s where still the buzz is going on. It’s just too important to ignore.
- Integrate services: Support GMail, Facebook, Bing, Skype, and all the others as good as you can. Don’t force services onto the customer, but rather give them the freedom to choose. This is true openness!
- Invest in Nokia Money: Simply a great idea, and a true innovation. It has the potential to change the lives of billions of people in developing countries. Empower them, and worry about a business model later. Watch Carol Realini’s keynote, and a little bit more about it here.
- Invest in VoIP. This is a huge market. Take some of the 8 billion € liquid cash assets, neglect the profit margin for a while, and make some serious investments here. Carriers will eventually turn into data pipes and loose their grip on the consumer, and this will happen rather sooner than later. And it would be a shame to leave this market just to Google and Skype.
- Invest in Targeted Advertising Services. Somehow this seems to be the revenue model par excellence these days.
- Talk Green: Nokia is doing some great stuff with respect to environmental and social responsibility already [see Greenpeace, or Dow Jones], but I get the feeling that the public doesn’t seem to know about it. This could definitely set Nokia apart from its competitors.
Any other suggestions of what to do if you were Nokia?