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
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
Open Source and commercial interest can be odd bedfellows. The former depends of course on transparency and high access to thrive, while the latter tends to fall back on secrecy just to survive. Detractors of Open Source will even claim that there’s no such thing as a successful open source project, especially a profitable venture.
There are certainly exceptions to that broad allegation. Red Hat is an oft-cited one. So was MySQL even before (and likely the reason) Oracle snapped it up. And the list definitely doesn’t stop there (read the comments after this linked article). 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 Blackberry, enterprise, Linux, Maemo, MeeGo, MySQL, N900, Nokia, Red Hat, RIM, security, UAE
Twitter buddy Jonathan (@atmasphere) Greene alerted me to a Wall Street Journal post today that claims Nokia is actively shopping for a new chief executive officer. If true, this shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprising development. The current CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (OPK), has been under fire for over a year now while Nokia has struggled against stiff competition, largely from Apple, RIM and various devices running Google’s Android.
OPK had been groomed by previous CEO Jorma Ollila for just that position, assuming the helm of the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer on 1 June, 2006. It seemed the right decision at the time: from there until 2008 Nokia’s stock value rose as innovative devices were released even while the company reinvented itself with extreme reorganizations.
But the first two years of a new regime typically benefit from residuals of the one prior. 2008 to 2010 can’t be credited or blamed back to Ollila’s term. Rather they provide the measurements for OPK’s performance, and the numbers aren’t good. To get an idea, check this chart comparing Nokia’s stock to Apple’s over the past 5 years. Or Nokia versus RIM. The divergence at 2008 is remarkable… and humbling for Nokia. And even though RIM hasn’t been exactly stellar, it’s still in the positive for the period. Continue reading
Posted in Great Governance, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Android, Anssi Vanjoki, Apple, CEO, Google, Jorma Ollila, Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, OPK, RIM
You know, I was planning to completely avoid a post mortem on the Apple iPhone 4 antenna issues circus. I really was. Until I stumbled onto this hyperspinning blog article and its incredible follow-up comments.
The little journalist in me lost his lunch on the ride.
It may come as a surprise to some that I’m allergic to marketing bull. Yeah, I do occasionally dip into it here but it has to be worth the inevitable rash.
I’m also a devoted fan of hardcore journalism. The kind that defrocks pedophiliac priests and dethrones corrupt kings. Which makes me an antifan of Apple’s approach to communications. The iPhone 4 debacle is a textbook example.
Of course if I’m going to explain further, it’s helpful to detail the chronology. That means going back to April, 2010. I’ll even spread the source love around: Continue reading
Posted in Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Write Stuff, Unusability, Views and Reviews
Tagged 2010, Antennagate, Apple, Big Lie, bumper, Gizmodo, iPhone 4, Nokia, PR, RIM, spin, Steve Jobs, WWDC
As many know I was recently privileged to attend the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2010 in San Francisco, California. After running out of juice trying to maintain community enthusiasm at maemo.org while simultaneously whipping it up for MeeGo, I was reinvigorated by the fresh energy permeating the conference. Seeing old acquaintances again, finally greeting others in person for the first time and making new friends always helps… as did the endless talks at various pubs and eateries about MeeGo’s future.
One aspect that renewed my faith was that even though 2009 did not turn out to be the breakthrough for open source that I had hoped, it looks like 2010 is setting the stage for this to be the case in 2011. For one, Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo venture strengthens the possibilities in my opinion. True, proprietary solution drivers are hardening their positions more now than ever, setting the stage for an eventual showdown that’s long overdue– but I expect open source to ultimately prevail and allow us to move past that exhausting argument and into the next awaiting world.
But even with its 5-year Maemo (along with Moblin) legacy, MeeGo still represents a beginning of sorts, and it will indeed be 2011 at least before it truly bears fruit– especially if recent product launches are any example. Meanwhile, what else will Nokia be doing to ensure its continued relevance?
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Mentioning MeeGo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged 2009, 2010, 2011, Apple, LinkedIn, Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, Maemo, maemo.org, MeeGo, Nokia, reorganization, RIM
In December 2009 a New York times opinion editorial asked if Nokia could recapture its glory days (my own assessment is here). That describes the time, not really that long ago, when the company’s offerings dominated customer desire. As we surely all recognize by now, Nokia appears to have hit its general market penetration peak in 2008. Much of its sales decline since then can certainly be attributed to the global economic decline, but that can’t explain why Apple, Google and Research in Motion have been able to grow and even create share in the same period. I won’t get too deep into the successes of the latter but instead will focus on challenges and recent moves by Nokia.
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Unusability, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Android, Apple, California, Google, Intel, LinkedIn, Maemo, MeeGo, Moblin, N900, Nokia, RIM, Silicon Valley, US
I’m going to interrupt the Cloudy Days for Data series again to muse this time about marketing…
I’ve been very pessimistic on Nokia’s future prospects in the United States but there’s no distinction in that stance; so has just about every other pundit. It seems like every time Nokia had something novel to offer, whether it be new devices like the promising internet tablets or a potentially hot service like Ovi, the ball wound up fumbled… sometimes by design.
A large part of that design was the stubborn insistance on model numbers over names, despite the allure shown by competing products like the iPhone and Blackberry. It’s been long known that this sort of branding resonates loudly with US citizens, so when Nokia portfolio manager Ira Frimere declares in a recent Computerworld article:
“I’ve learned it’s not what I like, but what my customer likes,” he said.
…I have to wonder when this epiphany occurred for him. No offense meant to Mr. Frimere, but I recall numerous conversations in Nokia US offices over this subject and that was the one consistent theme behind them all. It did not matter what Nokia executives thought; wrapping product branding and marketing strategies around customer needs and wants is paramount. Marketing 101.
Posted in Addressing Retention, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Apple, Blackberry, Computerworld, iPhone, LinkedIn, Maemo, Nokia, Ovi, RIM, Samsung, Symbian
Like one ex-colleague, I wonder what Nokia will look like when the economic dust settles. I’m told that the last remaining Irving (Dallas, Texas area) building is experiencing a sort of settling– dwindling employees are being shuffled swiftly downward as lower office space opens up, emptying the upper floors. My prediction of the site downsizing into a regional sales support office appears to be bearing out. Where else is this occurring? Offhand I don’t know… but I keep hearing that global roles are heavily impacted, which continues to confound me. Is this really signalling a retreat back to Finland?
I still see new openings in other areas, but I remain curious about the overall picture, i.e., what is the loss-to-gain ratio? When a company leaks employees here and there rather than laying them off wholesale, getting a picture of the headcount becomes difficult. I’m sure that’s by design in this case.
The question is, can Nokia execute well enough or are too many key employees being let go? The company now estimates that 2009 will see a 10% reduction in global handset sales. One could argue that such a drop necessitates an equivalent or at least proportional cut in headcount. But does that factor in the hoped-for area of growth, Internet services? The slow rollout and misfires of Ovi.com suggest that the venture suffers a resource issue of some sort. Is it fully staffed, or just running like a skunkworks project?
Posted in The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Apple, E71, employment, Irving, layoffs, LinkedIn, N97, Nokia, Ovi, RIM, Texas, TX, unemployment