Tag Archives: Stephen Elop

Nokia’s Design for the Future: Focus on What Works

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

A Personal Note on the New Nokia

Ever since last Friday’s monumental announcement (do I have to say which one?) I have wrestled with Nokia’s new direction.  I admit to being skeptical of its success, and I’m very disappointed in what I see as a significant retreat from open source… but I’m going to try really hard to be objective.

I see a lot of very polarized reactions and people forming into two distinct Pro and Con camps.  This is understandable; Nokia’s new clothes signify a very different empire than the one to which many of us have grown accustomed.  Because we’re looking at so many unknowns, I have to lean toward the doubters on this one, and Nokia is going to have to work harder than it ever has to prove itself in my view.  Too many words from the past unmatched by action.  Not that the past need dictate the future, but after repeated bumps and potholes one begins to distrust the road.  The one Nokia has been on requires much more than simple patching, to be sure, but the jury will be out on the shotgun wedding to Microsoft for some time yet.

As an (unpaid and often gonzo) journalist I often walk a fine line here between opinion and strict reporting, but I will always make it clear which is which.  In the same vein, I will work at not letting my personal opinion get in the way of highlighting the positive aspects of Nokia’s new developments.  That won’t be easy though!  But I was recently reminded that being a Forum Nokia Champion means supporting the communities, whatever form they take.

I do think some of my peers have been far too eager to radically embrace Nokia’s abrupt shift, but then, I can understand it– especially from employees concerned about their future.  On that note, I left a post at forum.meego.com about showing understanding toward Nokia employees and I hope it’s heeded.  They certainly don’t need any grief right now.

So expect me to cover this subject some more, maybe at times in an aggravated tone but perhaps with some hopeful accents as well.  I don’t want Nokia to fail… far too much at stake that goes beyond the success of Stephen Elop.

Disclaimer: author is a current stockholder and customer as well as former employee of Nokia, and a longtime developer with Microsoft Visual Studio.

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

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

Nokia CEO steps aside for former Microsoft exec

Note: this article was mentioned 4/4/2011 on twitter in order to stimulate follow-up discussion.

It hasn’t been that long since many pundits, self included, read the technology tea leaves and predicted the pressure on Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo would end in a change at the top.  Sure enough, I was just pointed to a MarketWatch article stating that OPK had resigned and was being replaced by Stephen Elop, a business executive coming from Microsoft.

I take neither pride nor delight in calling this one.  I was certainly not the first to bring it up, and as I’ve said I highly respected Mr. Kallasvuo.  But even if Nokia’s struggles the past few years were not his fault, directly or indirectly, it’s an unfortunate fact of the fast-paced business world that stockholders often need a sacrificial lamb in order to regain confidence.  CEOs, right or wrong, make the most obvious target.  Continue reading