Category Archives: Monday Musing

Is ‘Americanization’ actually bad for Nokia?

Over two years have passed since my job with Nokia was eliminated, and with the passing of time I find myself less and less inclined to expend effort covering the company I loved.  Focusing on the MeeGo venture has meant only peripheral acknowledgement of this key sponsor.  But with Stephen Elop’s ‘state of the company’ address coming up on February 11, I felt motivated to look both backwards and ahead to see if I might discern something not well addressed by the blogging community.  If accurate, the conclusion I’ve reached is a bit disturbing.

My premise: that it’s not as much Finnish conservatism that’s been detrimental to the cell phone giant’s success as it is wanton Americanization.  I find the basis of that conclusion in the extreme trimming of supply chain operations, in risk aversion and in mindshare cultivation failures.   Continue reading

Workplace Warfare: the Myth of Information Management

During my lengthy-albeit-rambling stint in the professional workplace, I’ve been a data jockey of some sort or another.  Titles like drafter, designer, administrator, specialist and analyst may seem to describe diverse roles but they all had at their core a need to translate one person’s vague vision into another’s crystal ball.

When I was promoted to fired-up but naive product data wrangler for a US manufacturer, I had this stupid idea that creating a reliable, robust information management system would have grateful department heads erecting statues in my honor.  But when it came time to put some rubber to the road, I met a resistance to process improvement more powerful than any force known to nature.  Once managers learned my new role, I found myself persona non grata at– of all things– information strategy meetings.

And it’s because, deep down, people really don’t want their information managed.  And they’ll fight to keep it that way.  Continue reading

Nokia and the Art of Fulfillment

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

LinkedIn: It’s not just for the unemployed

I joined the professional network LinkedIn early in its life, and immediately reached out to a handful of colleagues and former co-workers to get started.  And then essentially stopped.

Oddly enough I had been drawn to it as a tool for finding subject matter experts in our mammoth, matrixed company, but let it more or less idle afterward… until I needed to look for work again.  Fortunately during that period I found another opportunity at the same employer, and then again when more business changes occurred.  With no need to search, I linked out.

Until the third time turned out not to be a charm, and I was back amongst the ranks of the unemployed, desperate for any edge to separate me from an unusually high swelling sea of job seekers.  Continue reading

Facebook is a social disease

I understand how computer viruses got their name.  It’s appropriate.  Little evil, invasive things that wreak major havoc on a system.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Facebook is such a bug, of the social variety.  I’ve never had direct relations with the service, don’t intend to, but still feel contaminated.  Continue reading

Regime Change Management

I guess I was destined to get into change management in some form or fashion.  DNA alone got the ball rolling; manic creativity runs in the family, and creativity thrives on constant and profound change.

So I fit in well in engineering at Texas Instruments during the late 1980s to early 1990s, where change was the order of the day.  My first boss realized he needed to keep me challenged and so I wound up the de facto change order troubleshooter, chasing down busy managers whose signatures were required to keep some government-demanded product development or improvement on track.  Continue reading


I’ve touched on the subject of working hours before but wanted to expand a bit.  And yes, it’s not the usual technical fare but it does relate so bear with me.

I’ve been a little antsy lately, feeling some stress and anxiety.  I realized today that I’m just really at odds with some of the time-based expectations in my life.

I’ve never been chronologically conventional.  While the rest of the world seems to be on this 7 AM to 5 PM sort of schedule, my body has always been locked into more of a 10 AM to 2 AM sort of thing.  That doesn’t work well with, well, work.  Not the typical American way of working anyway.  But it does suit pathologically creative types, I’ve noticed.  Continue reading

Finding focus

One drawback of keeping up with a blog like this is that it often must take a back seat to more immediate or practical matters.  That’s certainly been the case the past few weeks as my draft backlog builds while nothing is published.

The economic crisis has definitely been personal for me, ostensibly playing a part in the loss of my last paid position (with Nokia) and now pitting me against a growing workload at my current employer.  As much as I enjoy researching and writing for this corner of my life, the work that puts food on the table takes precedence.

That said, I’m making an effort to allocate some quality time to both council duties and an exciting project, the MeeGo User Engagement Framework (MUEF).  Thanks to the latter I just had a paper accepted for Akademy 2010 and I’m excited at that prospect.  Still looking for help with the project, too!

Since my free time has been so impacted by recent employment needs, I’ve decided that once I wrap up and post the current drafts in queue I’ll make the MUEF project the main focus of the blog for a while.  There’s a lot of ground to cover so there will be no shortage of material.

So stick around– things should get interesting soon!

How Nokia helped improve my conversational style

I’ve always fancied myself an efficiency expert, but admittedly not due to any formal education.  Rather, an innate laziness has always ironically motivated me to constantly and intuitively look for process improvement.  Laziness, more than any other factor, is the true mother of invention.

But as successful as I’ve been in streamlining business processes and practices, that did not translate easily to communications.  I was constantly criticized, personally and professionally, for using ten words where two would do.  This has been, in yet more irony, a byproduct of the same storming brain that could identify quantum process leaps that had eluded peers.  So many things rattling around up there at the same time that honing in on one of them has always been a challenge.  In addition, I always wanted to share as much information as possible with listeners.  A job recruiter recently remarked that I am one of those who, when asked the time, tends to describe clock construction.  I had to admit he was right.

Continue reading