Fonterra is the largest company in New Zealand, and the 3rd largest exporter of Diary products in the world. Fonterra is co-operatively owned by more than 11,000 New Zealand dairy farmers. A large number of small self-contained producers of diary products producing exactly the same products, using similar technologies, and within the same geo-political space. Of course it makes perfect sense to join together, for local govt. lobbying purposes, for making a strong unified presence on the global market, to act as a single organisation (not to mention for having a global monopoly-like presence). The main points here are the core, the base products line: this is unchanging. Can a Fonterra model be applied to high-tech or software industries? Software companies and R&D units operate on completely different model: they work on an extremely diversified product lines, often with small focused teams of collaborators from all over the globe.  There are fundamental differences why Fonterra model is not applicable to those highly dynamic IT industries. It is all those small highly dynamic startups in SV that lead the way and exhibit exponential growth like behaviour. Big unified and centralised giants are much less dynamic and innovative. Their innovation is usually fueled through acquisitions, not done from within. Bottom line: Fonterra model does not apply to high-tech industry. What model would work the best? Community-driven de-centralised collaborations? Small per-project highly-focused operational groups? How to compete with Microsofts and Googles, making it innovative in a long run, and sustainable within the same model?

2 responses to “New Zealand high-tech industry.”

  1. Nicolas says:

    Fonterra-IT: I heard that somewhere 😉
    The model is applicable as part of scalability to go for external markets: the internal context varies according to the industry. But if all the SME operating in NZ, as well as the universities and other entities have a common umbrella to move ahead, it will be always better than nothing. Is like a ministry of foreign affairs: it represents every citizen of a country, independently of religion or political affinities. IT-NZ is a good brand that should be better positioned.

  2. mariusz says:

    It is not the good image of a country that sells the products and ideas. It is the excellence in product quality and ideas that creates a great image of the country.

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