Behind innovation Finland is the real Finland.
I fell in love with Finland when I discovered the communal semi automatic washing machine in the basement of our apartment here in Turku in 1998. It was 40 years old and working perfectly.
« Why should we get a Miele when this works fine? Ok so you have to open a few valves to do the final rinse, but look at the quality! » said the janitor.
That I decided was the real Finland. You keep the technology because it’s so good that it works smoothly after four decades.
I’ve never been back to check if it’s still there. Finland went a bit consumer mad after that.
We’d visit the amazing Nokia factory in Salo with the ITMPs and even though we could only view it from above, every year brought colossal organisational changes to the assembly lines and the phone philosophies. When Nokia stopped inviting us in 2005 we should have said: « Ah this is a weak signal ». In fact in April 2004 Stéphanie Fen Chong spent all lunch telling innovation top administrator Antti Joensu how good Samsung was and Korea with it. She was clairvoyant.
Nokia is no more.
But if you go to Helsinki, forget Nokia and forget technology, forget fashion, forget design, forget what you read in Blue Wing on your Finnair flight. Go to the Wellamo, where the delicious menu has taken 39 years to mature and enjoy some remarkable cuisine in a totally uncontaminated, authentic environment, with an extraordinary view of the sea.
Real Finland is alive.