Yesterday I mentioned that GlaxoSmithKline is giving away a small fortune’s worth of cancer research. The idea is to speed up the process.
Yesterday, Nokia announced that it will spend nearly a half billion dollars to buy a software consortium – so that it can give away the software for free. Symbian, one of the leading software developers for high-end mobile phones, is the platform for Nokia phones. By offering the software at no cost, Nokia hopes to increase Symbian’s market share, to increase the pace of software development by third parties, and to decrease its own software licensing fees.
According to the article, “While more than 90 percent of PCs run Windows, the market for cell-phone software is much more fragmented, with a dozen competing platforms. That means software developers have a much harder time creating applications, and raises costs for handset manufacturers and carriers that have to deal with many different systems.”
Symbian will continue to be run as a multi-company foundation, addressing the concerns that it might eventually become a monopoly like Microsoft.
What can you give away to others – suppliers, researchers, competitors – that will enable you to increase innovation at a lower cost?