This was a very interesting read – thanks for sharing! I think that Nokia’s forward-looking focus on innovation and the IoT is smart, but I am inclined to agree with those who have commented above that it feels like Nokia is casting too wide a net, here. Nokia’s engagement with the Bell Labs Prize competition might help the company to shape its long-term vision and strategy in the digital space. But it seems like Nokia should be shifting some of their funds towards soliciting more actionable, short-term ideas too. I wonder if they could design their own Open Innovation program more focused on the context of Nokia’s specific business challenges?
Awesome article! I will agree with those who have commented above, based on my own experiences using Spotify, that the company has done an good job with their machine learning algorithms to this point. I have generally been impressed by the music recommendations that Spotify serves me. That said, I do not think that the use of machine learning to make these music recommendations is itself a huge edge anymore, as several of Spotify’s key competitors have followed a similar strategy. But, Spotify’s solid understanding of its customers’ behaviors and preferences provides an important foundation from which it can develop other products and services. Customers today place a premium on a personalized experience, and it seems to me that Spotify could be poised to deliver.
I really liked this article! The problem that Optoro has identified (e.g. a huge increase in return rates, especially for merchandise ordered online) is a big and expensive one for retailers. Using machine learning to identify an optimal channel for reselling based on all of the variables you listed would certainly be valuable. I wonder at what point in the “returns process” this algorithm gets executed? If, for example, a customer mails their return back to the distribution center, and then the algorithm determines that the prospect of reselling is highest in Store X… the cost of shipping the product to the distribution center and handling it there was wasteful. I think a big opportunity for retailers would be to have this system run in real-time, perhaps triggered by the customer going online to print a return label in the first place. The retailer could then provide the customer with a return label to send the merchandise directly to Store X.
Someone else said in their comment that this article made them nostalgic for their childhood – I had the same reaction! I actually like the idea of using digital channels to execute open innovation programs. While I hope that LEGO’s focus remains on the physical toy, I do think it could be advantageous for them to have a stronger online presence, if not just to make the “crowd sourcing” element of their innovation process more powerful. For example, LEGO could create an online community specifically to engage users around the topic of product design. Parents and children alike could use the forum to share what LEGOs mean to them, and react to one another’s ideas. LEGO can easily reach a broad base this way, enforce brand loyalty, make customers feel important and collect data on what users want.
Interesting article! The aerospace industry seems like a compelling fit for 3-D printing – significant value could be unlocked by Boeing if airplane parts could be printed relatively quickly and to quality standards. The point you raised about the potential to eliminate 80% of supply chain lead time is especially striking. With those types of opportunities, I am not surprised that Boeing is investing heavily in this technology and building out their own internal 3-D printing capabilities. Boeing should keep this program a priority and push to get their printed parts across the finish line (approved by safety regulators). I agree with Mike’s suggestion that rigorous internal stress testing is a good place to start.
Great article! There is definitely still space for 3D printing, as a technology, to improve (in terms of speed, compatible materials, cost, etc.). I think a lot of businesses, like Safilo, see the future potential and want to be early movers. But until the technology becomes more efficient and Safilo can realize their complete vision, I wonder if they could additionally employ 3D printing for a more robust product prototyping program. A big challenge in retail is predicting the demand for new fashion trends – 3D printing could enable Safilo to produce a wide range of eyewear samples, get feedback from prospective customers on those samples, then make smarter decisions about which products to include in their collection.