Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nokia's disruption

Add ImageMuch have already been written about the recently announced partnership between Nokia and Microsoft. A clear win for Microsoft, for Nokia it is a gamble beyond recklessness.

Developers are probably one of the most important groups for any mobile ecosystem. Google have been pampering Android developers since the start, and the popularity of Android among developers is one of the top reasons for Android being were it is today. Nokia on the other hand just gave their developers the good old dagger in the back. I suspect Nokia currently ranks low on being the kind of work environment employees go the extra mile. For the tasks ahead, they will need people who really believe in what they are doing but there are always other more compelling job opportunities for the shining stars at Nokia. Jobs which utilizes their current talent and interests.

Now, it is either Steve's (Balmer) way, or the highway. Having daggered their own ecosystem and dismissed Android, there is really just one choice; Windows Phone. Placing your army's front against the direction of the fight, and its rear against a coarse river is historically known to be an effective way to focus your soldiers state of mind and commit them solely to the task ahead. However Nokia's army is one of hired soldiers, which is not of the same caliber as the army that gave the Soviets a hammering in the Winther war. They just might choose to go for the swim. Protests at Nokia might be a sign for things to come.

Getting this giant organisation to fully commit to the new direction and learn the new tools of the trade is no small task. All this must be done while downsizing at a large scale. In paralell to this the world is not waiting for Nokia to catch up. HTC, LG, Samsung, Huawei, Apple and Google are inventing and delivering at full speed. In the other end fewer people will probably be buying Nokia's current line-up of phones; who would want to buy a product that the manufacturer itself says is a relic? The coming months will probably skyrocket the Android and IOS share of phones, at the cost of Nokia. In this scenario will Nokia manage to release "killer products" before going bust?

Stephen Elob(picture) says he is going to disrupt Apple and Google with this Microsoft partnership, he just might end up disrupting his own company.

(Picture by Luca Sartoni (Distributed under Creative Commons license)

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