In September 2013, NOKIA announced that they had been acquired by Microsoft in a deal valued at $7.17 billion. At the time, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop ended his speech with the following words.
“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.”
Such an ending is devastation considering Nokia used to own a large portion of the smartphone market share before the iPhone came out in 2007.
In a Linkedin blog post by Ziyad Jawabra, he notes that while Nokia technically did nothing wrong, it was their refusal to change and learn new things that ultimately lead to their demise. Jawabra wrote:
“They missed out on learning, they missed out on changing, and thus they lost the opportunity at hand to make it big. Not only did they miss the opportunity to earn big money, they lost their chance of survival.”
Jawabra stresses that if a company doesn’t embrace change and constantly learn new things, it will eventually be eliminated by new competition down the line. He wrote:
“The advantage you have yesterday, will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitors catch the wave and do it RIGHT, you can lose out and fail.
To change and improve yourself is giving yourself a second chance. To be forced by others to change, is like being discarded.
Those who refuse to learn & improve, will definitely one day become redundant & not relevant to the industry. They will learn the lesson in a hard & expensive way.”
Such ideals have been fostered by companies like Google, who famously offers “20% time” to employees, where they’re allowed to take one day a week to work on side projects they’re passionate in. This perk has brought forth innovative creations like Gmail and Adsense.