February 13, 2016
Why Nokia Lost To Apple

Read this: Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did.

Honesty is incredibly valuable in a large organization. You can't make good decisions without accurate information. If the upper reaches of the organization put fear into their middle managers and scream at them (read the article above) then the middle managers will not pass up the information that the top needs for decision making. Failure will ensue.

What else is important? Competence at the top in relevant subjects. If, say, your top management does not understand software development and software development suddenly becomes the most critical competency of the organization then your company is in deep trouble.

Which reminds me of my favorite advice for young software developers: do not go into an industry and company that isn't run by software developers. Okay, the CEO doesn't have to have experience writing code (though it helps. But if direct reports to the CEO don't know how to code you will deal with worse working conditions and poorer quality decisions.

Another piece of advice: If you can see a way your struggling employer can turn around and you wait for years for them to come to their senses it is very likely you are wasting your time and your precious career. Move on.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2016 February 13 11:54 AM 

Blim said at February 13, 2016 3:14 PM:

I worked at Nokia during this time and while there was a lot of 'cover your arse' stuff going on in Helsinki, in London, where most of the design and UX happened, a dedicated team from across the US and Europe told upper management the 'truth' loudly and often. The issue was that they didn't act on it. The company was being positioned for sale long before Stephen Elop came on board, but it was his remit as the Trojan Horse, that hastened that event and, ultimately, Nokia's demise.

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