Jesse Nieminen, the co-founder at Viima talks about innovation of idea management, and Smart Cities.
Jesse Nieminen is the Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at Viima, the most widely used and highest-rated innovation management software in the world. He’s passionate about helping leaders drive innovation in their organizations and has been recognized as one of the leading thinkers on innovation.
Why do you want to democratize innovation and help organizations around the world innovate more?
The global and connected world of today is more complex, more competitive, and moves faster than ever before. To keep up with the changes and survive, let alone thrive, organizations everywhere need to adapt and innovate more and faster than ever before.
Yet, innovation is still seen by many organizations, not as a necessity it is, but more as a luxury that only startups and huge enterprises can afford or know how to do. That’s of course a big problem for these organizations, but also for us as a society since it fundamentally limits what we as a humanity can achieve. So, with that in mind, we’ve set out to provide the tools and knowledge needed so that every organization could succeed at innovation.
How do you see the world improving after your product is implemented? How will the use of your product affect users?
Our core product is a Software as a Service innovation management platform called Viima. With our product, organizations can systematically collect ideas and then turn those into innovations. Viima helps companies develop, evaluate, and prioritize ideas, as well as manage and analyze the whole innovation management process, and we also have plenty of advice available on how to best run the process.
The platform is very flexible and can be used for any kind of innovation across the whole organization, so the tangible business benefits often vary depending on what the customer chooses to use Viima for.
This article provides a pretty good overview of these use cases and associated benefits. However, regardless of the use case, our platform can remove a lot of the heavy lifting related to managing ideas and innovation, as well as significantly increase transparency, communication, and the ability to use data in decision-making.
What are measurable criteria by which you track the effectiveness of your solution? What are result measures, and what metrics you evaluate?
That’s a great question! Measuring innovation is always a challenging endeavor. We’ve covered the topic in-depth in our blog, but I’ll give a quick overview here. Many choose to track only the outputs of innovation activities, such as the amount of revenue or the number of new products introduced. Some only measure the inputs like the number of ideas created and the budget allocated. Both are a bit problematic. If you just measure either inputs or outputs, you’re inevitably missing a part of the picture. The best innovators measure both inputs and outputs, but they also pay special attention to system metrics. System metrics will tell you how well your process operates, and this is critical for innovation success. Cycle time and innovation process throughput are great examples of these as they help you measure and increase your pace of innovation. When you actively use all three types of metrics, you can easily spot where the problems or bottlenecks in your processes are, and that’s what eventually allows you to create a lot of value with innovation as an organization.
Why did you decide to create a platform that helps people create innovation?
We’re all big believers in our mission, and I think the most impactful thing we can do to drive progress and innovation in our society is to bring the knowledge and tools that were previously only available to a few to the masses.
We’ve been working on that for almost a decade, and we’re already the most widely used innovation management software in the world, but we still have plenty more we can do to help organizations everywhere make more innovation happen.
How is technology changing our daily lives? Can technology make the world a better place?
I have an engineering background so I might be a bit biased here, but I do truly believe in the power of technology. Ever since humanity first harnessed fire and the wheel, technology has been the the primary driver of productivity and progress in our lives. It’s allowed us to live longer, more comfortable, and rewarding lives and has certainly made the world a better place overall. Of course, some technologies might come with unforeseen and undesirable consequences, so we do need to think about how we use and develop the technology. In general, I think one of the biggest trends since the dawn of humanity has to been to use technology to eliminate the need for boring, repetitive, or dangerous work so that we can spend our time on more fulfilling endeavors, and many of the developments now in the horizon are likely to continue that trend, but there are also many others.
What inventions will change the world over the next 15 years?
As we’re facing a climate emergency, one of the biggest changes will be the rapid transition towards sustainability in all areas of our lives.
In addition, we’ve seen artificial intelligence already shape the digital world in many ways, but I think we’re going to see the benefits of AI being applied more towards our physical world in the next 15 years, be it self-driving cars, automatically optimized energy grids, or perhaps even more intelligent robots.
How do you think your product will help create these inventions?
We can’t take credit for any of these big inventions ourselves, but we’re a great platform for anyone working on such ambitious innovation projects. Our platform can serve as the innovation backbone for these companies, and the countless efforts needed to turn those ideas into reality.
What innovations are changing our daily lives? What should be the innovative way that makes people’s lives more comfortable?
Well, countless innovations can certainly improve our daily lives in the coming decades, so it’s hard for me to try to narrow it down to just a few!
If I use the examples I already mentioned, self-driving technology can save a lot of time and money for us. Automatically optimized energy grids and usage can help us make the transition to sustainable energy a reality without hurting the quality of our lives. Real-world AI can again help reduce boring, repetitive, and dangerous tasks and chores we still need to spend time on.
Are people changed by new technologies coming into the market, or is it technology that changes based on people’s needs?
Innovation can go, and always has gone, both ways. There’s a technological innovation that enables us to change the ways we live and work for the better, but there is also plenty of need-based innovations where we’re simply looking to address our desires and needs with whatever methods we can come up with.
Neither is necessarily better or more important than the other. They both have their place. The best and most powerful disruptive innovations do both: they introduce new technology that also fundamentally changes the way we’re used to doing things.
What new technologies are becoming more popular these days?
For smart cities specifically, the few that I’d pick are related to renewable energy, recycling and smarter use of resources, new construction methods with more renewable materials like wood, as well as those applications of AI both for automated mobility and optimized use of resources.
Each of these is in and of itself a huge area of innovation where there are hundreds of companies working hard to bring innovations to market, and that certainly makes me excited!
Can you name a few features of the city that have impressed you in the last few years?
Yesterday I saw the first couple of Starship autonomous delivery robots in my city, and I have to say it was quite a sight to see these small six-wheeled containers drive around the sidewalk and stop at intersections to wait for the traffic lights to turn green!
I haven’t personally tried using them yet, and I’m sure there are still many problems to solve with these, but given some more time and effort, I think it can be an exciting way to help us reduce emissions related to getting groceries while making our lives more convenient at an affordable cost, says Jesse Nieminen, co-founder of Viima.
Viima is the best way to turn ideas into innovations, and it’s free for unlimited users. Viima is the all-in-one innovation platform that helps you go from ideas to innovations, every step of the way. We’ve made the journey effortless so that you can focus on making more innovation happen.
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