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jerryking : finland   8

Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
agriculture  branch_plants  Canada  data  digital_economy  energy  FDI  Finland  food  GoC  industrial_economy  IP_retention  intangibles  intellectual_property  Israel  Jim_Balsillie  mining  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  Singapore  talent  technology  wealth_effects 
november 2018 by jerryking
Nokia a lesson for backers of Canada’s nanny state - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | BRIAN LEE CROWLEY.

How did it all go so wrong? And what might Canada learn from Finland’s downfall?

One obvious conclusion is not to put all your eggs in one basket, but it goes well beyond that. There was a time when economic change worked slowly enough that you could get a generation or two’s employment out of an industry before it was overtaken by innovation. Detroit dominated automobile manufacturing for many decades before its own complacency and the innovativeness of European and Asian producers came into play. In a similar vein, Nokia allowed itself to believe in its own infallibility, and Finland meekly followed suit. But the forces of change are now so powerful and lightning fast that sometimes a single product release from a competitor can signal the death knell of a previously healthy company or industry....Canada is rife with industries with their heads stuck in the sand, almost invariably because they believe they can shelter behind a friendly bureaucrat with a rulebook.

Examples abound in fields as diverse as telecoms, dairy, airlines, broadcasting, taxis and transport. Could there have been a bigger farce than the CRTC’s attempt to manhandle online content provider Netflix?...The real lesson of Nokia’s demise was that there is no substitute for being driven by what customers want, which is quality products and service at the lowest possible price...Every deviation from this relentless focus on what customers actually want makes your market a tasty morsel for the disrupters.
concentration_risk  Nokia  Finland  mobile_phones  disruption  Netflix  Uber  CRTC  complacency  accelerated_lifecycles  protectionism  nanny_state  customer_focus  change_agents  Finnish  demand-driven  lessons_learned  automotive_industry  downfall  change  warning_signs  signals  customer-driven  infallibility  overconfidence  hubris  staying_hungry 
october 2014 by jerryking
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013, 9:02 am 8 Comments
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage
By MARK SCOTT

In Europe’s crowded technology scene, cities are eager to differentiate themselves from local rivals.

London has its connections with global finance. Berlin has a thriving local arts and music community. And Helsinki has its wintry weather....“Weather is a competitive advantage for us,” said Christian Lindholm, a local entrepreneur, who – like many in Finland’s tech community – spent several years working at Nokia. “Too much good weather would be bad for us.”

The Finnish tech industry is going through a reboot as focus shifts from struggling Nokia, which is selling its cellphone division to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, to some of the country’s smaller companies.

The most recent success is Supercell, the local online gaming company...tech firms are also benefiting from the investment flowing into companies based in and around Helsinki. With a lack of Finnish early-stage investors to back start-ups, much of the funding still comes through government support, including from Tekes, the country’s technology and innovation agency, and other state-backed venture funds.

The government money varies from one-off grants for research and development at universities to six-figure investments aimed at boosting start-ups efforts to market their products in international markets.
cities  competitive_advantage  differentiation  Europe  EU  Finland  Finnish  games  healthcare  Helsinki  mobile_applications  Nokia  start_ups  state-as-facilitator  weather  winter 
november 2013 by jerryking
Seven characteristics of great education systems
Sep. 02 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Editorials.
"Smartest Kids in the World"
* Mathematics is vital. Math is even more important than we knew. Math skills correlate highly with future income, and with academic success, research shows.
* Teachers should be highly prized. It should be difficult to become a teacher, and the job should be socially prestigious. Students, parents and bureaucrats respect teachers, because they know how hard it is to become one.
* Classroom technology is a waste of money. There’s no indication that fancy pedagogical doodads such as electronic whiteboards and tablets have a tangible effect on student performance.
* School should be about school. Rigour is key, and standards must be high.
* Extra help is widely available.
* Critical thinking is emphasized.
* No system is perfect. There are union squabbles, dissatisfied parents, policy shortcomings and rampant inefficiencies in even the highest-performing education systems.
books  education  howto  editorials  high_schools  ksfs  Finland  rigour  teachers  inefficiencies  mathematics  prestige 
september 2013 by jerryking
Review & Outlook: Microsoft and Nokia Were Giants Once - WSJ.com
September 4, 2013 | WSJ | Op-ed

Nokia itself has been the veritable avatar of corporate reinvention, starting out in wood pulp in the 19th century. As recently as the early 1990s, the company was an unwieldy Finnish industrial conglomerate, trying to make its pivot into mobile telephony. Few then predicted its meteoric rise, or its equally meteoric fall. In shedding its handset business, Nokia will become essentially a maker of network equipment for cellphone operators.

The larger point here is that corporate giants come and go in a competitive economy. No monopoly is permanent, unless it is enforced by government, which as everyone knows almost never changes. It thinks and usually behaves the same even as the rest of the world evolves or leaps ahead.
op-ed  Microsoft  Nokia  19th_century  boom-to-bust  Finland  Finnish  impermanence  monopolies  reinvention 
september 2013 by jerryking
Unboxed - Governments Embracing a Role in Innovation - NYTimes.com
June 20, 2009 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR. Innovation policy, to
be sure, is an emerging discipline, lacking crisp definitions or
metrics. What is the appropriate government role in creating industries
and jobs in today’s high-technology, global economy?...John Kao, a
former professor at HBS and founder of the Institute for Large Scale
Innovation....innovation policy is an attempt to bring some coordination
to often disparate government initiatives in scientific research,
education, business incentives, immigration and even intellectual
property....governments are increasingly wading into the innovation
game, declaring innovation agendas and appointing senior innovation
officials. The impetus comes from two fronts: daunting challenges in
fields like energy, the environment and health care that require
collaboration between the public and private sectors; and shortcomings
of traditional economic development and industrial policies.
innovation  large_companies  Finland  government  John_Kao  industrial_policies  shortcomings  scaling  policy  state-as-facilitator  global_economy  policymaking  innovation_policies 
december 2010 by jerryking
(F)Innovation in Helsinki
May 12, 2009 | SEEDMAGAZINE.COM | by Jussi Rosendahl. The
Finnish government will merge three top universities in three diverse
fields: Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki School of Economics,
and the University of Arts and Design in Helsinki. At first called
Innovation University—sparking some debate about its relationship to the
industrial sector—the new institution has been named Aalto University,
after the legendary Finnish architect and designer, Alvar Aalto. The
goal is for Aalto to join the exclusive ranks of top universities around
the world that approach innovation with a multidisciplinary tack:
Stanford University’s D.School, an institute that assembles experts
across the campus, integrating human, business, and technical approaches
with “design thinking,” has led the way. Design London was established
by the Imperial College of London and Royal College of Arts in 2007, and
smaller-scale projects have appeared in Germany and the Netherlands.
Finland  innovation  cross-pollination  design  Colleges_&_Universities  Finnish 
july 2009 by jerryking

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