Anssi Vanjoki, or Dr. Evil as I like to call him because his square jaw and crisp suits make him look like a James Bond villan, was supposed to be the next CEO of Nokia. After he found out that Stephen Elop was going to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Vanjoki immediately resigned. For those who don’t know about Anssi, he was one of Nokia’s coolest employees. The guy is tall, gigantic even, and he loves playing basketball. He’s famous because of a speeding ticket he got while riding his Harley around town. Here in Finland a speeding ticket isn’t a set value, it’s a percentage of your salary. Because the guy was getting paid so much, his ticket ended up totaling 116,000 Euros.
This was back in 2002 mind you, so don’t forget about inflation.
Anyway, the Finnish publication Taloussanomat recently caught up with Vanjoki and asked him what he thought about JollaMobile. He said: “It’s nice that the boys are giving it a shot.” Asked whether or not he invested in the company, he said he didn’t and that he’s not involved with them in any way whatsoever.
Why then is this a story? Because Vanjoki hated Symbian. Loathed it. Wanted to strangle it with his bare hands until it stopped breathing. He was the guy that gave birth to Nokia’s Nseries portfolio. He was the guy who wanted to make MeeGo Nokia’s future. And finally, he was the guy who said companies who rely on Android to make smartphones are like Finnish boys peeing their pants during the winter to stay warm.
To put it crudely, Vanjoki was (still is?) a bad ass motherfucker.
It’s difficult to say whether JollaMobile will execute the vision that Vanjoki once had in his head so many years ago, but we do indeed wish the boys well, and we too are glad they’re giving it a shot!