It was hard at times to get your voice heard at Nokia, says the CEO of Creoir, Pekka Väyrynen. After leaving the company he put together a startup with three former Nokia employees that designs and develops digital services and wireless devices with user-centered mentality.
Creoir is one of those Oulu’s success stories that shows that closing the mobile development operations of Nokia didn’t kill the passion for developing wireless smart devices in the region that’s still suffering from the massive layoffs. The company founded in August 2012 was literally founded from the ashes of Nokia by four former employees that participated on Bridge-program which had been created to support employees to start their own small businesses while Nokia was steadily closing its operations in Finland.
“It was at times hard to get to get your voice heard at Nokia, which made having user-centered approach in heart challenging at times – Sometimes we were just running after technology while trying to for instance a certain megapixel camera on the device. What we learned during that experience was that running after technology is an option – At times the device is already good enough, but the brand doesn’t serve the customers,” says Väyrynen and emphasizes that this mindset has influenced powerfully to the way how Creoir operates:
“At Creoir, we want to provides overall services for brands that want to create beautifully designed products that matter to the users. Engineering is not enough, the visual side as well as the user interface has to be interesting.”
As Creoir works in cooperation with global brands and helps them in developing and producing wireless devices, working in B2B makes building up a reference portfolio challenging, says Väyrynen. Most of the companies rather keep it under the wraps who has actually designed the product – which is understandable for Creoir. This has also encouraged the design technology company to launch also their own products, such as the Creoir Ibis smart watch jewellery, that was one of the hit products at Mobile World Congress in 2014. The dual face watch got attention of it’s design, which is exactly what Creoir wants to do with their products.
Our name starts to get stuck in people’s heads, says Väyrynen – And also being visibly the main partner in creating the ultimate music lovers mobile phone Marshall London launched this July has helped as well. Zound Industries found it as an asset to announce that Creoir was the main partner in developing the device built around sound quality.
“We handled the hardware and technology for the phone – which was actually our specialization also at Nokia. We were those last mohawks making mobile devices in Finland,” Väyrynen looks back on the hard times of being the manager who actually had to sack his whole team during the Oulu unit layoffs. “Though closing Nokia was depressing to a lot of people, the greatest thing is that we still have know-how here in Oulu and the possibility to manufacture smart wireless devices. Now we can be more flexible as startups – search help and build project teams through the wide networks we built during working at Nokia – and use local subcontractors to support the regional development as we did in Marshall London project,” says Väyrynen.
After all, It’s all about representing yourself through brands – And Creoir wants to be the company helping brands to recognize that in a wider scale. Now at least based on a quick glance at London phone reviews, the device is highlighted among the users for being the most loud smart phone with a beautiful design. Target reached on this project or what?