Tag Archives: market

Marketing MeeGo: Introduction

One of the biggest challenges facing the MeeGo venture will be creating tangible interest around its (eventual) offerings.  iOS and
Android enjoy the buzz right now, the latter now benefiting more than the former.  At some point MeeGo as a product (or family of products) needs to establish the same sort of excitement if it is to seize significant market share.

It’s only natural to assume that any corporate entity utilizing MeeGo in some manner would craft unique marketing campaigns for their implementations.  But grassroots or community-led marketing is something else entirely.   Continue reading

An Open Letter to Stephen Elop

Mr. Elop, I’m sure by now you’ve read your fill of these opinion pieces.  Since your hiring by Nokia was announced, analyst after analyst has offered their view on how you can save the company from impending doom.  So I’m not going to regurgitate what’s already been tossed your way.

Instead, I’ll point out where they’re wrong.  Continue reading

Rebuilding a Nokia North America Presence

The surprising selection of Canadian and former Microsoftie Stephen Elop for new Nokia CEO has triggered mass speculation that the company has finally decided to walk the walk on this continent.  The invitation to numerous bloggers from North America to attend Nokia World 2010 in London pretty much seals the deal.

What isn’t clear however lies in the dust of details.  Continue reading

Giving users what they don’t know they want

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

How Nokia can retake the US Market… and more

I’ve recently chastised Nokia for various failures, some broad and some specific, and I also promised to get out of the negativity rut and start proposing solutions.  So brace yourselves; the ride begins and (inspired by Tomi Ahonen) it’s a long one.

First though for the sake of those who don’t know me: I was a product developer, technician and change management guy who Nokia hired in 2005 to support process improvement activities under the auspices of Quality Assurance in the former US Alliance factory. When the factory closed I moved to a brief stint trying to bring the lessons learned into all American factories, and from there to a global role as logistics business analyst and application specialist.  Even though my last position was eliminated and I fell out of Nokia in 2009, the time spent in various roles helped me get a big picture understanding of Nokia’s challenges, particularly in respect to struggles in the US.  I think it helped that I brought in an outsider’s view– prior to Nokia, I had never even used cell phones!  (for you Nokia employees, I had an internal blog called The Long Tail.

With that out of the way, I want to share my perspective on how Nokia could improve its prospects here, for whatever it’s worth.  Few of these ideas are new or original, but they all represent thoughts with which I am in agreement and consolidate some of my scattered-but-related thoughts.  Continue reading

Home, home on the range

The title of this post is an old cowboy folk tune that rings pleasantly nostalgic… a stark contrast to what I am actually going to lament.

2008’s economic implosion was identified months ahead by savvy analysts who knew the olympic housing boom was unsustainable.  Unfortunately, people caught up in the event had banked on it lasting just a bit longer… and the Last Ones Holding lost as always.

And so today in the US we have markets flooded with severely devalued houses that act as a drain on the economy.  What triggered me to talk about it today was this short article referencing a study that found many Americans wanting to relocate.  Not surprisingly, the cities targeted for abandonment are those in devastated local economies: Detriot, Cleveland, et al.

Continue reading

Last phone standing

This 2-page Reuters article describes the declining cell phone market and presents a case for Finnish giant Nokia emerging from the stumbling economy less battered than its rivals.  I tend to agree.  The Finns are known for their methodical, conservative approach to business and I believe that trait is the main element enabling Nokia to weather the economic storm.

As on-target as I generally found the article to be, though, the author did neglect to mention that a large part of Nokia’s resilience has been and will be due to its success in emerging markets.  Instead, he makes this comment:

In a shrinking market, handset makers are battling for the only remaining growth business — smartphones — where they face newer rivals such as Apple (AAPL.O), with its iPhone, Blackberry maker RIM (RIM.TO)(RIMM.O) and Google (GOOG.O).

Continue reading