Bell Labs, Cheeky Monkeys and Viennese pizza
Again this year I was priviledged to be invited to the New Product Development Strategies conference. We are in Vienna as last year, before that the conference was two consecutive years in Amsterdam.
Participants come from different industries, including ICT, food, chemical, FMCG, luxury brands, consumer electronics etc. etc. The one common goal we all have, is how to be able to produce products and services that take into novel innovation, customer requirements, and implement lean, agile and cost conscious product management. Not easy.
My presentation topic was “Evaluating the next level of market insights and complex research methods to match with consumer preference”. The title sounds rather ambitious, but I think I did an ok job in delivering how Nokia takes in consumers and other customers in the research and development process. I had a few cases:
- Design by Community
- Symbian Ideas
- Traffic Works
- NRC Nairobi music project
- Nokia Pilots
See the whole presentation here .
I’ve found some great companies from these conferences in the past, Creax, and CSR come to mind quickly. Neither of these companies were present this time, but I did discover a new firm worth hyping: Cheeky Monkey!
Cheeky Monkey is a small UK company who productized Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in a wonderful, compact way. Nina presented their PLM process, in a nutshell being “How to win in the market with PLM in 100 days”. Their approach looks so simple it makes you wonder why companies do it so difficult.
Check them out at www.wayofthemonkey.co.uk and www.plmmadesimple.com
The Alcatel-Lucent presentation is also worth mentioning. The speaker was not embarrassed to start his presentation with a case from the early 2000 presenting an idea collection project that went all wrong. What they did back then was initiated a contest for most new ideas, and winner got a car. Obviously this model has many flaws and they have learned since. Bell Labs in Belgium are now running series of Entrepreneurial boot camps for finding new business opportunities in 50-100 million euros. I was very impressed by the effectiveness of these boot camps and the following internal ventures, all done in a stealth mode until launch.
Now I'm off to the social evening where Cheeky Monkey will serve us some real Austrian pizza and hopefully some local beer to go. Cheers!