“When Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced that Nokia was abandoning its development of its own smartphone platforms and APIs, and betting the farm on somebody else’s, many people asked why it was necessary.” The answer is incredible: for years different Nokia teams were fighting amongst themselves, developing competing user interfaces that were all eventually abandoned by new CTO Rich Green. And while all this pointless development continued, nobody bothered to modernise the Symbian UI, leaving the company with a user experience that was almost as bad as it had been four years before.
Why Nokia Failed: ‘Incompetence’, ‘Mismanagement’
2011-03-14 Wireless 4 Comments
“Nokia’s culture was steeped in hardware. It thought software happens magically, or in a software factory, or something like that. If all Nokia’s upper managers are like that, then it is obvious that they had no clue about the implications of different UI APIs. They should have been fired for gross incompetence.”
Unfortunately, there’s quite a few companies like that. I’m not quite sure what it is, but there are very few companies that get ‘software’. Even those that have good engineers in hardware as Nokia does seem to just get befuddled by the complexity of software.
Most of these companies wouldn’t dare hire some random guy to touch any piece of hardware or ASIC or whatever. Yet software, they think you don’t need any skill. It’s kind of odd really.
The latest decision is just more incompetence.
I’m no high-flying celebrity CEO but I’m not so sure that the answer to the question “How do we improve our management culture and learn to deliver a product?” is to throw out years of research and alienate your loyal employees.