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Strategic Innovation: The Definitive Guide to Outlier Strategies by Michael Gibbert, Liisa VÄlikangas

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18. ZenRobotics: Riveting Robots to Reduce and Recycle

Q: What happens when two academics and an ex-pop star get together?

A: They do something cool and “trashy” with robots.

When Harri Volpola (PhD, Physics, Mathematics, Neural networks), Tuomas Lukka (PhD, Quantum Chemistry), and Jufo Peltomaa (ex-pop star, serial entrepreneur) got together, that was exactly what they did. After Tuomas and Jufo had sold off their hybrid graphics to Nvidia, they were contemplating what to do next. Their only business plan at that time was that their new venture would involve robots.

To better figure out what it was that they wanted to do with robots, they conducted interviews with potential customers. The interviews helped them understand on what area the customers ...

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