Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nokia and User-Generated Innovation

Companies can learn a lot from the Finnish handset maker Nokia. For quite some time Nokia has gathered customers’ ideas from around the world through online applications, and used these ideas to help shape ideal and dream products. What’s the cost for online applications? It’s virtually free.

This article in BusinessWeek highlights how Nokia’s mobile phone application Sports Tracker took off in ways developers never dreamed of. This app was primarily meant to have cyclists and runners take advantage of Nokia’s global positioning capability, but soon enough people used this application for sports such as paragliding, hot-air balloon riding, and motorcycle riding. Due to overwhelming responses, online groups, communities, and “favorite routes” were created.

Nokia Beta Labs is the website where it allows users to login and rate applications that Nokia designers have created. Nokia has seen tremendous success in the launch of Beta Labs, but what are some other examples of companies who have also used the same innovation approach?

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