That’s right you read the title right..Thank you Stephen Elop! There is a title for a post I never thought I’d NEVER EVER write. (BTW if you listen closely you can hear my Twitter followers dropping off as you read this.) I will try to give you a reasonable explanation of why this title is true without putting you to sleep with needless history you already know.
Here we go…long story short Nokia is and always was an amazing mobile phone company with a long list of innovations that are used in almost every phone on the planet right now. (GSM, Text Messages, Internet…all Nokia, Your welcome.) They innovated at an amazing rate and everyone had one than something went well..wrong in house at Nokia.
Nokia was getting too big, there were too many departments not working together, still innovating but none of that innovation was making it out of Finland anymore. Designs were falling behind, entire markets were being ignored, the next consumer want was not being met. Nokia was almost too late picking up on the flip phone trend, and was way late on the “passing touch screen fad”.
Than for a while with release of the Nokia N900 in 2009 it looked like Nokia had a winner on their hands running the new Operating System Maemo. Sadly the size of the company brought it crashing down. So instead of running with Maemo (which was light years ahead of it’s time) became a victim of an internal struggle to save Symbian. Knowing that Symbian would take a ton of work to adapt it a touch screen. So as Nokia plugged away slowly at updating Symbian for touch the mobile landscape dramatically changed. With the rise of Android and iPhone selling like hotcakes Nokia was caught flat footed and the smartphone game was passing them by quickly.
Than in September 2010 Stephen Elop was brought in to make changes and save the company from itself. From the start it was clear there was going to be changes made. This was tipped off by the now infamous “burning platform memo” which essentially said bye bye to Symbian and hello to another OS.
There was a huge wave of protests from the Nokia community when they found out that Symbian (still one of the best and most complete OS out there) was being ditched for (not the in house continuation of Maemo..MeeGo) Windows Phones. This was the first of a bunch of largely unpopular, tough, cost cutting, and modernizing moves that was made in just the last two short years.
With no real guarantee of success and at great risk of personal reputation to be shattered into pieces upon failure of these moves to save Nokia, a bold new course was set for this Finnish giant. Successfully shaking off the Nokia old guard malaise that let Nokia fall so far behind to start.
“So how’s that working out for you?” I hear you say… While it’s still touch and go right now Nokia is starting to make that long climb back up from it’s “Symbian is dead but we have nothing to replace it” low. Nokia is starting to catch fire in the low end devices, plus with the unveiling of the Lumia 920 a Nokia phone is being mentioned in the “best smartphone competitions” along with the iPhone5 and the Samsung Galaxy III.
If I would have told you just a short 18 months ago that there was a Nokia phone coming with a 4.5 inch screen, a 1.5Ghz Dual Core processor, NFC, OIS PureView camera, and wireless charging you would have looked at me like I had a third eye. Not only is here now but it’s putting Nokia back on the map in top manufacturers in the smartphone war. All of these thing are not here from staying the course, they are here because someone came in “from the outside” and had the vision to make some very unpopular decisions.
The decisions that I was personally against but now believe wholeheartedly will save Nokia. The architect of all these moves was made by one Stephen Elop. That my friend is why the title of this post is Thank you Stephen Elop!