Wed Feb 09 2011

Stephen Elop on Nokia

It takes guts for the CEO of a public company to come out and tell his employees that they’re standing on a burning platform. Yet that’s exactly what Stephen Elop did by emailing a memo to Nokia employees today. I never hid my opinion on Nokia - I think they missed the boat on handheld technology, stuck to their old principles and didn’t innovate in design for way too long. This memo, however, while not an indication that they’re going to succeed, at least shows their CEO is aware of the problem.>How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved?

This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally.

Nokia, our platform is burning.

You can read the full memo on Engadget, and there’s (as always) a great discussion of this topic over at Hackernews. These are sad, but also exciting times for/at Nokia. All they need to do now is start turning the ship around. I hope they realize their main focus should be design.