Yesterday, the eyes of the world were targeted on a royal wedding. Sweden got a new royalty but could it be that they got something more than that?
The monarchy is not a corporation.
This statement was given by the king of Sweden in a television interview. Although the comparison seems a bit abstract there is some logic behind it. Monarchy is not considered to be producing anything. It makes no profit, only losses. Still, it has an enormous marketing budget and a bunch of employees.
But as a corporation in a monopoly, the monarchy isn’t exactly looking for internal change. Monarchy embraces tradition, not innovation.
So what happens if you turn an entrepreneur into a monarch?
This is something we should ask the new prince himself. Or just wait and see for ourselves. In an interview he has already stated that he wants to step up and promote health and entrepreneurship.
If we define the concept of entrepreneur as creative innovator and successful manager of risk then this poses a challenge for our new prince. After all he is now more like an ambassador of Sweden than a royal entrepreneur. But if he successfully manages to promote an entrepreneurial atmosphere inside the monarchy, we should probably establish a similar role here in Finland: “the prince of entrepreneurship“.
Today’s guest blogger is Oskari Nokso-Koivisto, artistic director, FinderBase.
For last few days I have been in Urbania in Italy. Urbania is a town with 7000 inhabitants. Weather is nice, food and wine are excellent and people are relaxed. At least so far it seems that stereotypes about a small Italian town are a reality here.
My reason to be here is to study Italian opera. We have 18 singers rehearsing for example parts of Cosi fan Tutte, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Simon Boccanegra. To sing Italian opera, you have to be familiar with the Italian culture as well.
An amazing quality in Urbania is, that even as I have walked quite lot, I haven’t seen a single lost item. My guess is that if a community is small enough to be able to communicate efficiently about lost items in traditional ways. Everyone basically knows everything important all the time. Of course taking advantage of that kind of communicaton is not easy for visitors who are not part of the community.
The problem of lost items must have begun at the same time when the idea of ownership came into existence. In the small communities the problem can be solved in the ways it seems to be done in Urbania. However, the world has changed and is still changing in a fast pace. Towns and cities are growing. Most of the world population is living in environments, where it is impossible to know everything. In those environments we need innovations to solve the communication problems.
In July I will be in Rome, home of 3.5 million people. My guess is, that the lost item problem in Rome is not solved as well as it is here in Urbania. There will be work for FinderBase to do, I presume.
Petteri Kilpinen published today a blog entry about Finland and our innovation strategy. His topic is quite ambitious since it bets that the next Facebook will come from Finland.
From Finland? Why?
Kilpinen uses Muxlim as an example of a movement-driven as opposed to a technology-driven innovation. Although Muxlim doesn’t even target the Finnish audience, we can safely say that the Finnish engineering skills have partially contributed to its success. But could it be Muxlim’s asset that it has basically nothing to offer for the Finns?
Aren’t Finns nationalistic enough to just create a movement?
Finns have an enormous potential to create remarkable things if they see the purpose (remember finnfags on Drawball?) But Finns have the national vice of jealousy. Finns don’t do squat especially if there is another Finn harvesting the benefits.
Here’s the way Finland will make the next Facebook.
Tekes has an annual budget of 500 million euros. This money is not spent on doing. If Finland wants to create the next Facebook, it requires a whole lot of doing instead of researching and developing.
I will propose founding a new institute called Ilmes (Ilmiöiden luomiskeskus). It could modestly start with, let’s say 1 % of Tekes budget. Ilmes will use the 5,000,000 euros to machinate a few global Internet phenomena per year. It will pay fellow Finns to do something remarkable in the Internet. It will pay for hits on Finnish websites through creative campaigns. It will pay good affiliate bonuses for bringing new users to the Finnish social media websites.
If there is one country in the world to do something like this, it must be Finland.
When you have defined your problem, you need to solve it. Basically, you have two options:
- Solving it with incremental improvements. Just making it better in some respect.
- Solving it with a radical innovation. Forget the current problem and redefine it.
Both of these models can create a business that serves the customers. But if you can do something the radical way, there is a good change that it will also be something remarkable.
Our solution is a radical one
We’ve turned the problem of lost property upside down. Instead of concentrating the lost property to a single point, we want to share the responsibility in a social way.
People know how frustrating it is to lose something
The current business models in the field are about making money. If you call a lost property office, you’re charged a premium rate per minute. If you’re lucky enough to find your stuff back you have to pay the office storage/handling fees. The current system creates value primarily to the companies not to the customers.
People have the same problem everywhere
People don’t lose their stuff only in Finland. It’s tempting to think we’re working with a global business. Saying it is global is obviously self-deception. People find stuff locally, not globally. Same goes for losing stuff. But a dream shouldn’t be local, it should be global. Our dream is to revolutionize the way people think about lost property.
We want to be local on a global scale. The word is Glocal.