Tomi Ahonen Summarizes Everything That’s Wrong With Nokia

Tomi Ahonen thinks that purported memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is a forgery. It seems pretty clear that the memo is genuine, but Ahonen’s reasons for doubting it are fascinating:

Then he supposedly writes “While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time.” This again smacks of ill-informed US based views of Nokia. “… we missed big trends” (?) WHAT? Excuse me? I can accept, definitely, that Nokia has recently been executing poorly, and its early steps in new areas have been clumsy. But ‘missed’ big trends? Which trend has Nokia missed. Name even ONE! Touch screens? Before iPhone! Internet phones? Nokia did the world’s first. Consumer smartphones? Nokia invented that. Gaming phones? Nokia had years before the iPhone ever heard of Angry Birds. An app store? Nokia followed this trend from Japan five years before Apple launched its first app store. A developer community? Nokia has had it for more than a decade. Apps? Nokia has a whole unit that sells apps and services. Maps? Nokia bundles those on the phones. Money? Nokia launched Nokia Money long ago. Dual SIM phones, Nokia did that years ago. What trend is it that Nokia has supposedly missed. MISSED?

Keep in mind that Ahonen is a former Nokia executive. I think his view probably matches that of Nokia’s long-time managers. In their view, Nokia merely has a problem with “execution”.

Where he (and Nokia, but apparently not Elop) are wrong is in thinking of these things as checklist items. Touchscreen, check. App store, check. Gaming, check. The trend Nokia missed out on? Kick-ass production values, quality, and experience.

Update: BBC News confirms the memo is genuine.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011