When you hear the name Nokia you might think of phones that were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s (the key word being were). Maybe the famous Nokia ringtone comes to mind.
What you probably don’t think of is a paper mill. But that’s exactly how Nokia got its start, as a paper mill. From the Nokia corporate website about us page:
“From its humble beginning in 1865 as a single paper mill operation, Nokia has found and nurtured success over the years in a range of industrial sectors including cable, paper products, rubber boots, tires, televisions, and mobile phones.”
If you only know Nokia for their phones you might assume they’ve gone out of business. But Nokia has been adapting and reinventing itself for nearly 160 years. In the context of 160 years, the period of Nokia’s rise and fall in cellphone dominance is a blip on the radar.
Today Nokia still makes consumer products, but also offers networking solutions and plays a major role in making 5G networks possible. Additionally, Nokia derives significant revenue from licensing its vast patent portfolio to various industries including smartphone and automobile manufacturers. In 2022 Nokia had sales of approximately 25 billion Euros. A few select highlights about Nokia:
Developed the video encoding technology that set the stage for internet video streaming
Currently working with NASA to put LTE on the moon
Vast patent portfolio deemed essential to 5G networks
Continues to spend billions on R&D every year.
If you ever feel that you cannot reinvent yourself, think of Nokia. Nokia is the nearly 160-year-old company that went from a paper mill to a telecommunications/technology company whose inventions are the foundation for much of the 21st-century digital age.