A reader emails:
Remember the Hullaballoo last year involving Gerry Brownlee when he took on the Finns last year? This saw some distinct Opposition chest beating, as it picked on one of their favourite countries (despite Finland’s love of Nuclear power and embrace GM technology).
I bet Gerry will be enjoying a wry smile over news that Nokia has been picked up by Microsoft for way less than Len Brown’s new train set in Auckland will cost. As both will lose money, which one would WO readers most prefer? Google, several year’s ago, picked up
Ericsson MobileMotorola Mobility (who had invented the mobile phone), proving you can go from hero to zero very quickly in tech.
Yet this got me thinking about all those ‘experts’ who castigate farming by saying we need to ‘develop a Nokia of our own.’ While the meat industry has its issues, at least its in demand, more so than Nokia’s loss making business, or should i now say, Microsoft Mobile.
Remember what the Finnish ‘comedian’, Tuomas Enbuske, said after big Gerry corrected Shearers Finnish myth last year?
“We have Kimi Raikkonen … you have sheep. We have Linus Torvalds [creator of Linux computer software] … you have sheep. We have the Angry Birds game … you have sheep. We have Alvar Aalto [architect] … you have sheep. We have Nokia … you have sheep. We have Martti Ahtisaari [Nobel winner] … you have sheep. Thank you. Greetings from Finland.”
Not to be catty, OK I will, but Kimi’s return to F1 hasn’t been flash, our Lord Ernest Rutherford made Finland’s soon to be five nuclear power stations possible – you cannot play angry birds or program Linux with candles. While Finland has four Nobel prize laureates v our three, three of the Finnish ones are technically Russian. Now, of course, Nokia is American, so Tuomas Enbuske, greetings back to you from New Zealand!
The real concern though was the rush with which the left and the corporate /university bludgers pushed the Nokia model for fat grants. Meanwhile our mandarins travelled well to study Finland too. Even our MSM remains suckered in by the Nokia myth, as evidenced by The Listener gleefully calling for dairying’s scalp while holding up Nokia (MS Mobile). Maybe that will change, with the stars & stripes flying over Nokia so we now get anti-Americanism.
Here are some others after a quick internet search (warning carries some deluded thinking):
“Sir Paul Callaghan, who foresaw the danger of over-dependence on Fonterra, tirelessly promoted science and innovation as the route to a more secure and prosperous future. He pointed out Finland’s economy is significantly more diverse than ours, despite Nokia’s size and importance.”
“Finland needed to make a step change, and it did that. It is currently putting more than 3 percent of its GDP into research and development and science. Nokia is now a household name; when Finland began that step change it was not. That is a real step change….”
David Shearer, 9 February 2010 (poor David’s speech writers missed Nokia’s huge losses and falling market share, even in 2010).
“Both of these countries transformed their economies by developing high technology, with Finland hugely benefiting from companies like Nokia, and New Zealand has a lot to learn from them.”
Hon Steve Maharey, 23 February 2007
”The transformation of Finland’s economy around ICT in the past fifteen years, with the development of Nokia as a world leader in the sector, has been inspirational.”
Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister, 12 February 2007
“It is clear that the Business Growth Service can be improved by providing additional expert advice to help companies plan for their long term development. We need larger companies employing more people and earning foreign exchange, in the same way that Finland, a country with five million people, has Nokia with over 60,000 employees.”
Hon Jim Anderton, 17 December 2001
UPDATE: The reader had a brain explosion and where he mentions Ericsson, he really meant Motorola Mobility. He is really apologetic…