Okay, I’ve officially had it with this year’s buzzwords. You know which ones.
At first ecosystem was kind of cute. It sounded so green and organized. Who could argue against anything prefixed with eco? Continue reading
Posted in Inviting Change, Out There, The Cat Corral, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Amazon, Apple, curate, ecosystem, Facebook, Farhad Manjoo, Fast Company, forumnokia, Google, LinkedIn
There’s been a crazy fog of speculation surrounding my previous employer for the past few years, and I’ll admit I’m guilty of contributing. Many of Nokia’s moves during that time have been unusual, counterproductive and even downright bewildering… so it’s hard to blame anyone for wondering what the heck platform-torching CEO Stephen Elop has really got in mind.
Nokia has always been a leader in hardware. That’s not even open to debate. Their serious failures have been, increasingly of late, in softer areas. Operating systems. User experience. Marketing. In no time Nokia’s failure to execute on iPhone-driven paradigms caused it to fall from leader to follower to company-with-a-questionable-future.
No need to rehash any more history, though, right? Let’s talk about the company’s future… and why my pessimism started to evaporate tonight. Continue reading
Posted in Delivering Quality, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Android, Apple, design, forumnokia, iPhone, LinkedIn, Maemo, Mango, Marko Ahtisaari, MeeGo, Microsoft, Nokia, Stephen Elop, Symbian, Windows Phone, WP7
Anyone ever watch the 1990 movie Crazy People? An advertisement executive (played with nutty magnificence by the late great Dudley Moore) cracks up under the stress of lying to people for a living and ends up in a mental institution. At some point he enlists the aid of residents to help him create marketing campaigns after the bluntly-honest-but-hilarious ads that landed him there become popular. You can read the wiki article to get an idea of the results, but watch the movie if you can to get the full effect. Other than some bad acting by Darryl Hannah, it’s cute.
Why am I recommending films to you?
Because when I think of Nokia’s flagship N8 smartphone, I think of how well it would fit into one of these crazy campaigns. I can picture a sharp photo of this beautiful handset on a blank background, accompanied by pithy captions like “The Nokia N8: Quirky But Cool” or “Cover the Logo and Everyone Will Love It”. Continue reading
Posted in Addressing Retention, Getting Qt, Inviting Change, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Apple, forumnokia, LinkedIn, N Series, N8, Nokia, smartphone, Steve Jobs
I’m going to confess something that’s likely to cost me Twitter followers, kill future career prospects and launch a mild Comment war:
I’m not much of an app user.
And I can’t understand those who are, either. Well, I can align with the casual user. The few utilitarians out there. Those discriminating sorts who reserve their precious device storage space for more valuable content. Like songs, photos and LOLcats. Continue reading
Posted in Just for Fun, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, Smooth Codings, The Cat Corral, The Write Stuff, Unusability, Views and Reviews
Tagged Android, App Store, AppCentral, Appia, Apple, AppUp, forumnokia, Intel, LinkedIn, Maemo, MeeGo, Microsoft, Nokia
The choice buzzword since the February 11 Nokia-Microsoft deal (satirically tagged on twitter as #NoWin) is ecosystem. Stephen Elop’s vision apparently stops short of a Linux-powered mobile solution. Either the newly-minted Nokia CEO can’t see how to monetize it or thinks it hasn’t happened fast enough for him– pick your choice of pundit assessments here.
The strategy that Nokia had originally described when migrating their Maemo efforts to the joint MeeGo venture with Intel was that the added value for their corporate bottom line would come from a combination of lower internal OS development costs along with a customized user experience on top of the MeeGo core… one that was promised at one point to “knock our socks off”. Who could reasonably argue with such a concept?
Obviously, Nokia’s board of directors and their recent replacement for Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Continue reading
Posted in Addressing Retention, Gamespace, Getting Qt, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, Out There, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Akademy 2010, Android, Apple, Blackberry, disapora, ecosystem, forumnokia, Intel, iOS, iTunes, KDE, LinkedIn, Linux, MeeGo, Microsoft, Nokia, Ovi, Qt, RIM, WebOS, Windows Phone 7, WP7, Xbox
Propagating a novel operating system (OS) can often be a frustrating chicken-vs-egg scenario, as many abandoned platforms and even current ones like Linux can demonstrate. An OS won’t gain many converts without a reasonable stream of ready-made applications as well as the necessary ecosystem support (especially device drivers). In open source contexts, this is compounded by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and similar sticky, usually legal, bogeys.
Maintaining a compelling closed ecosystem, such as Apple has chosen with its various OS offerings, certainly goes a long way toward solving those hurdles. On the other hand, Google’s breadth of services, brand recognition and sheer size have quickly carved out secure toeholds for the more open Android and undoubtedly Chrome OS. And there are already several well-established (although shrinking) platforms occupying the rest of the market slots… so where’s the space for upstart MeeGo?
The recent article here rhetorically asked Why MeeGo and that’s not the point today. Rather, I want to cover what’s going on in porting and packaging, and what that might mean for MeeGo’s possibilities. Continue reading
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged AMD, Android, Apple, ARM, forumnokia, Google, Ideapad, Intel, Lenovo, LinkedIn, Linux, Maemo, MeeGo, Moblin, N900, Nokia, packaging, platform, porting
There was a time when cell phone operating system Symbian was on a roll. Utilized by numerous device providers and championed by global giant Nokia, it provided the basis for a smartphone revolution. And appeared unstoppable.
But Symbian had its roots in traditional user experience, and its proponents seemed surprisingly blindsided by the explosive growth of touch devices in the late 2000s. With its laser focus on the trend-setting demographic, Apple managed to quickly lay waste to the cell phone status quo with its now-iconic touchscreen iPhone. A victim of its own success, Symbian has since struggled to find its way and shows signs of having peaked in global share. Continue reading
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged AMD, Android, Apple, forumnokia, Google, iOS, LinkedIn, Linux Foundation, MeeGo
The current analytical buzz about Nokia’s mind and market share issues tends to be pessimistic, presupposing that the company has no chance of reclaiming its former glory days due to the unwitting tag-team onslaught of Apple and Android. But this negative assumption arises from ignorance and forgetfulness.
It’s certainly true that customers have a stubborn inclination toward brand loyalty that can be difficult to unseat. But Nokia was once on the positive side of that equation in areas where it now struggles (or has given up altogether). What could keep it from returning to that former glory?
Nothing, actually. Continue reading
Posted in Addressing Retention, Delivering Quality, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, Monday Musing, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Quality, Nokia, HP, Apple, Intel, iPhone, Android, AMD, Epson, loyalty, fulfillment, Hewlett Packard, Artisan 835, Motorola, RAZR, ATI, Nvidia, forumnokia
When Corporate Executive Officers speak, everyone listens. The only question is, what sort of reception do they enjoy? Depends on the CEO of course.
Mobile CEOs tend to be a unique breed. Brash, media-savvy and antenna-focused. Like relative newcomer to the fold, Steve Jobs. His Silicon Valley DNA made him perfect for Lord of the iStuff, so it should have come as no surprise to industry pundits when his zealous microguidance pushed the iPhone through any and all walls of resistance to success. He didn’t have to rise up through the mobile ranks to achieve greatness there; he already possessed the necessary components, and so success in a new area was simply a matter of applying them appropriately.
But even as I objectively admire Jobs’ achievements, I still don’t care for his manipulative methods. Continue reading
Posted in Great Governance, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Apple, CEO, Jim Lazardis, leadership, mobile, mobility, Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, OPK, RIM, Steve Jobs
I spent many years as a product designer, in various fields. I even had some cool inventions for consumer tools and medical devices that sadly got hung up in former employer bureaucracies. It’s been so long though since I was heavily immersed in the world of design that I had forgotten some key principles.
Reading Juhani Risku’s clear and well-considered thoughts on Nokia’s survival brought it all back to me. On page three of the online Register article, he makes the following point:
“There is a philosophy called Contextual Design, every designer at Nokia has been trained in it by the guru Karen Holtzblatt. Everybody has attended her courses and got her very expensive book signed. The idea is that you ask the users what they are doing, then design something. If you think about Apple, they don’t ask anybody. The idea of users as designers is a catastrophe!
“It’s only relevant to evolutionary products, it’s not relevant to blue-sky products. When you have a blue-sky product, there are no users, and so there are no users’ opinions. We have to rely on what the desires of users are and trust the designers.” Continue reading
Posted in Inviting Change, Out There, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Unusability, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Apple, Contextual Design, design, feedback, innovation, invention, iPhone, Juhani Risku, Karen Holtzblatt, market, marketing, Nokia, Thomas Edison, user