Words. They’re powerful. Very powerful. They can start wars, start relationships, end arguments and bring about a greater understanding to the mysterious world we all inhabit. Hell, I get paid to lay on my couch, slowly sterilizing myself with my too hot to handle laptop rested upon my genitals, and pump out words.
With that in the back of your mind, I want you to read, in full, Anssi Vanjoki’s letter to the public about Nokia’s current situation.
The title of the post, “The fightback starts now”, implies several things. One, Nokia admits that they’re no longer in pole position. They are no longer market leaders, despite shipping the most units, they are instead laggards who have to catch up to Apple, Google and RIM. Two, Anssi is implying that what Nokia was doing before he took the captain’s seat of Nokia’s Mobile Solutions Unit was taking the company down the wrong path. Under Anssi, things will be better. Under Anssi, Nokia is going to kick ass. Under Anssi, everything is going to be OK. And those that came before Anssi … let us never speak of them again.
“I am committed, perhaps even obsessed, with getting Nokia back to being number one in high-end devices.”
Another admission that Nokia isn’t number one. Again, regardless of the amounts of boxes that come out of their many factories around the world.
“The Nokia N8 will be our only Nseries devices on Symbian^3. Of course, we ‘never comment on future products’, but a Symbian^4 Nseries device is a strong possibility. A very strong possibility ;-)”
Whatever, it doesn’t mean anything if Symbian^4 is as bad as Symbian^1.
“MeeGo offers us an opportunity to take mobile technology beyond the smartphone, and into a new world of connected devices. As Symbian gears up to compete with the likes of iPhone and Android, MeeGo is taking clear aim at the computing space.”
What. The. Fuck. Does. This. Mean? First the Symbian powered N95 was a multimedia computer, then your marketing department killed that phrase. Now Symbian devices are smartphones … ? And MeeGo powered hardware will hereby be known as “connected devices”. Connected to what, the internet?
“From the ground up, MeeGo is a computer operating system. Working with Intel, we’ve combined our assets to create a software platform that completely integrates mobile elements such as GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and more. This will offer developers a rich environment to create new possibilities for users.”
Ummm, every mobile platform gives developers access to the hardware underneath. That’s why they’re called mobile platforms, and the devices that run them are called smartphones.
“There is no denying, that as a challenger now, we have a fight on our hands. The first battle is to bring you products and services you will want to own and use, to inspire you to create and do new things in this ever changing digital world.”
Bravo Anssi. You’ve probably wasted 30 or 45 minutes writing this letter when you should have been on the phone, talking to designers, internal developers, and corporate strategy folks. I’m not going to insult Nokia for copying Apple’s user interface, because everyone in the industry does it. Instead I urge you to copy Apple’s style. They don’t blog, telling the world they’re ready to make a comeback. They don’t announce hardware, and then ship it 6 months later. They do however win people’s hearts and minds with products. Hardware. Things you can touch, and use.
So stop talking Anssi. As much as I love you, and wish you’d be the CEO of Nokia, kicking out the lawyer who sits at his desk with a calculator, trying to shave fractions of a penny off the bill of materials, you need to shut up and just deliver.
Deliver. Deliver. Fucking deliver already.