Nokia's R&D Style

Nokia’s hit factory

One of his first steps was to drastically accelerate the expansion of R&D sites, while keeping the teams within them small. His reasoning is simple: The smothering influence of the home office can lead to tunnel vision. “If you just have R&D campuses around headquarters, you might become what we call ‘home blind,’” Neuvo says. “You need to have your finger in the wind in many places” to fuel the imagination. Colleagues say he used his international academic connections like an intelligence network to cherry-pick acquisitions ranging from hot startups to R&D sites that other companies had put on the block, as well as to identify rising young talent.


But Neuvo’s crucial achievement was to infuse his burgeoning operation with a hacker spirit, to make his staff, as he puts it, “challenge and not shrink from making mistakes.”


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