I can hardly believe what’s happening these days. The biggest companies are all racing to out-open each other. And while some moves are more PR-ware than genuine embrace of open standards, user control, and data portability, there is something really significant going on here.
Just read an interesting piece about Nokia by Anders Bylund over at Ars Technica. Apparently, Nokia is fully acknowledging the sea change the Internet is having on the mobile space:
During Nokia’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo seemed to change the direction of the entire company. “Our goal is to act less like a traditional manufacturer, and more like an internet company,” Kallasvuo told his shareholders. “Companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are not our traditional competitors, but they are major forces that must be reckoned with. Make no mistake: We are taking on these challenges seriously and aggressively.”
Of course, Nokia has an amazing track record of corporate re-invention, getting it’s start in life as a paper mill!
Earlier this week, we saw a bold move by Sprint, Comcast, Google, TimeWarner, Intel and others to pool resources (billions of dollars) to roll out high-speed wireless services across the country.
Yesterday, MySpace said it would open up access to profile data, and declared the end of the era of walled gardens!
And in recent days, I’ve been in numerous discussions with various large companies, and in every case, I have been blown away by the strength of their embrace of “open.” Why is this happening? It’s because the Internet is now the central shaper of corporate strategy for almost any business related to information, data, or media. And when the Internet is central, traditional strategies for lock-in are doomed to fail. Market advantage now must be created in other ways.
The result? 2008 will be an historic year.