Failure is the path to innovation says NSN chief

Bosco Novak, chief of customer operations, Nokia Siemens Networks addressing the Broadband World Forum in Paris

The telecoms industry needs to become more comfortable with failure if is to innovate, an executive head of Nokia Siemens Networks has said. Bosco Novak, chief of customer operations and executive board member at NSN told the audience on the second day of the Broadband World Forum that being allowed to fail will help foster a culture of innovation.

“If you look at the nature of innovation it’s doing something that nobody else in the world has ever done before. In my count, if I do something that I’ve never done before seven times out of ten, I fail.  So innovation goes very closely with failure. And in a world where we’re not allowed to fail as an industry as companies that are publically traded…  there’s a huge challenge for each one of use to drive innovation in our eco-system. We need to be able – to be prepared, to fail.”

In keeping with his own message, Novak admitted that when it comes to preparing for the future data crunch the telecoms industry was, “building fantastic networks- but clearly we are building the wrong networks.”

Novak said that the NSN’s studies show that demand flows between the workplace and residential homes like a wave and that as a result most of the network was either heavily underused or over used.

“What we’re doing is a big mistake,” Novak said. “Our thinking today is still static – we need to become much more dynamic. We have not built a network that match the flow and connectivity in our society. In our view in the future connectivity has to be designed to take those fluctuations into account – a liquid network.”

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