ntil as recently as 2012 Nokia was the world number one mobile phone manufacturer. However when customers demanded that they created a touchscreen smartphone, Nokia refused, believing it was too expensive to produce a smartphone over 300. Apple, in contrast, took the risk and launched the hugely successful iPhone at 600. Former Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila has admitted in his new book that Nokia were let down by their managementrsquos inability to read the market and a reluctance to take risks. ldquoApple managed to create something completely new an excellent user experience and a solution in which the phone was a key to the ecosystem of services and applicationsrdquo claimed Ollila. ldquoA whole new ecosystem was born which Nokia had been unable to create.rdquo As Ollila now acknowledges, getting ahead of the market and staying there are two completely different things, and now that technology is changing faster than ever, a managementrsquos ability to read customersrsquo demands is more important than ever. Creating competitive advantage through differentiation requires innovation, creativity, research, new ideas and ultimately some failure. In times of low growth companies are often less likely to take risks for fear of failure, when, in reality it is actually more important to be creative during these periods. Brands like Apple and Samsung have managed to grow year on year due to a combination of bold management and creative vision. However, even huge brands like Nokia have found that if they donrsquot have the leadership teams that are creative or brave enough, it is unlikely that their customers will wait around for them.