What no one has written about Nokia, Elop and the burning platform

    Having taken up this post, the author is fully aware. And the fact that it was "sore". And that "only the lazy did not throw a stone." And about the fact that "enough already, got it." However, having read plenty of homegrown and not very analysts, the author nevertheless decided to express his own opinion, which differs from the generally accepted one that has been reprinted here and here with some masochistic languid here and here by various authors, interpreters and translators. Probably someone will be interested to read it.

    Traditionally, for those who do not like a lot of beeches, brief (more or less) theses:

    • Being a market leader for a long time, Nokia relaxed a lot and corrupted its internal infrastructure with bureaucracy, excessive outsourcing and a huge amount of useless “managerial layer”.
    • As a leader for a long time, Nokia has spent a lot of money on unnecessary operating expenses, acquisitions of useless companies and on an irresponsible model of outsourcing.
    • Completely divorced from reality with the departure of Jorma Ollilla, Nokia, under the leadership of the brilliant lawyer CEO Olli-Pekka Kalasvuo, spent a lot of money and effort on creating a useless and uncompetitive Ovi service infrastructure. As a result of this, in addition to money, Nokia lost a lot of useful time that could and should be spent on the development of its main business - telephones, software, etc.
    • The bureaucracy and the unsinkable managerial stratum in Nokia, sequentially migrated from one advanced project to another, as part of the same groups of individuals, self-replicating in the form of a bunch of formal moron processes of committees and management groups, a little shuffled taking into account the specifics. As a result, it was this bureaucracy that killed Symbian, Ovi, MeeGo, and other attempts to catch the outgoing train on its own.
    • The struggle with the bureaucracy and the stratum in Nokia has come to a complete standstill.
    • The great CEO Elop simply had no choice but to beat the whole old, slow and rotten organization by creating an alliance with Microsoft and switching to Windows Phone. Thus, all the old processes, competencies, technologies, and most importantly - people abruptly become what is called “off topic”. And therefore, thus, under a plausible pretext, it was possible to nail this herd of managers who endlessly draw fantasy roadmaps with unicorns and transferring papers from the left edge of the table to the right.
    • New Nokia, after 2011 and old Nokia until 2011, are two DIFFERENT organizations. They are united only by the common name and operating system S40 for Asha phones.
    • The burning platform, this is not Symbian and not MeeGo. The burning platform, this is the condition in which Nokia was driven by years of relaxed leadership and dull-headed ambitions of the previous CEO - Olli-Pekki Kalasvuo with a clique of fawning vice presidents.
    • With the bureaucracy and business processes available for 2010, Nokia would not have been saved by Android, or half the population of Bangalore writing on Qt under MeeGo. Even if Apple donated Nokia iOS and all services for free, then they would have degenerated by the hands of all Requirement Managers into typical Nokia design chimeras and eventually bent over after some time.
    • What the great CEO Elop did was the only reasonable decision that gave at least some chance of survival. The question “how did he do this?” Remains open, as well as the question “will this help Nokia?” In the end. We should not forget that the current Nokia is a completely new organization, so it is foolish to assume that it will regain leadership at once. Like all new organizations, it will have to fight for this leadership for a long time.
    • Without the mistakes and victories of Nokia, there would never have been an Android or an iPhone. Both Google and Apple carefully analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of older competitors before stepping forward.

    All this in detail - under the cut. I warn you that cool pictures are not there. Continuous graphomania and scolding.

    First of all, I will try to answer the question that has long been of interest to me:

    Why do themes about Nokia cause so much flame and excitement?

    The answer is obvious to me. The crisis and perestroika in Nokia are close to the Russian heart, because just recently, the USSR also collapsed, then it was rebuilt under the baton by drunken Yeltsin, and so on. When the “process began” with the USSR, everyone on every corner spoke the truth, remember? The truth poured from TV screens, newspaper pages and magazines, sang accusatory songs of bards, rockers, KVNy, books were written in volumes and so on. Each spoke on the topic, God, how we lived, as if there had been no revolution and what should be done next. After everyone choked, laughed, listened to the speakers, chewed, and each answered for himself the eternal question - who is to blame and what to do, society plunged into a routine of pressing affairs. Those who have learned to do anything but state the obvious, continued to yell and write about bloody gebnya, the lawlessness of those holding power, great-power rudeness, about the fact that “we are stinkers for them” and “the authorities were snickering, stolen and doing what they want.” Well, God bless them.

    The situation with cutting the truth of the womb about Nokia is a tracing-paper from the collapse of the USSR. Moreover, the majority of opinions and components of the cut truth-uterus is a kind of cocktail from the interpretation of open financial statements, usually made by superimposing finite numbers on some infinite scales or axes, personal insults of some offended and not very mobile analysts who pass off as an objective point view, and of course personal experience - from the series “here in 2003 I dropped my Nokia 3111 into the toilet, it was a telephone ...”.

    My opinion, presented below, is based solely on my own experience and knowledge of this office, so I do not pretend to be absolutely finite and objective point of view, but I hope that my reading will entertain you.

    Suomalainen Yritys or Sisu's Role in Finnish Company Strategy

    Let's start VERY from afar. About the fact that Nokia, as a manufacturer of mobile phones, has a rich history associated with rubber galoshes, tractors, televisions, etc. I will not remind. I will discuss this subject. The country of Finland and Finnish society basically has some very interesting features that can explain the strange behavior of Nokia in certain situations. The majority of Finns work very diligently, diligently, not November for nothing and despite the difficulties. Of course, over the past 10 years everything has changed a little, the number of tolerasts and all kinds of oppressed has increased, but on the whole everything looks just like that. In this, the Finns are a bit like the Japanese, who tend to grind certain elements of their work to absolute art.

    Most Finnish engineers are introverts. By the way, do you know how Finnish introverts differ from extroverts? The fact that Finnish extroverts when they talk to you, look at your shoes, not your own. Introverts who can work carefully and accurately can turn mountains. If you give a Finnish engineer a rail and a file, put it in a house with a sauna by the lake and feed sausages, then in five years he will cut out an exact working copy of the iPhone, do not hesitate. The ability to do something methodically for a long time, overcoming difficulties and striving for a distant, sometimes unrealistic goal, is called among the Finns the word "sisu". In general, there is no unambiguous translation of this word into Russian, and you can fully understand this only if you were born in Finland.

    The reasons for all this are mostly historical. Finland for a long time was oppressed by Sweden, then it was part of the Russian Empire, then it survived the winter war with the USSR, then for a long time it paid the USSR reparations for participation in the Great Patriotic War on the side of Germany. All this, such a feeling of constant press, rallied the Finnish people and developed such elements of psychology as “sisu”. Why am I all this? This is necessary to understand some aspects of Nokia's logic in the development of the company.

    A trick for such a frost-resistant and bulletproof Finnish engineer is an environment that requires a quick reaction and quick decisions. In non-standard dynamic situations, Finnish thorough engineers are often lost. The reason is that in order to get to work they need to carefully plan and reconcile everything, read the documentation, discuss all the details. In dynamic situations, one often has to act without clarifying all the details, seeing only a small part of the overall picture, and there is no time left for something fundamental. This point must also be taken into account.

    Well, with such introductory notes, let's imagine Nokia, for example, in 2001. By this year, Finnish engineers, through hard work on NMT and simple but reliable GSM phones, have earned their credibility and the company began to really sink in the money. As a result, the company began to expand actively, nevertheless focusing on mobile phones. For several years, Nokia sold all of its units, with tractors and televisions that were not directly related to the main business. But we are interested in what exactly happened inside.

    How Pekka became a manager ...

    And this is what happened. A good engineer, say for antennas, whose name is, say, Pekka, became a senior engineer, then a specialist, then a senior specialist, and then that’s all. His career in engineering stopped and Nokia did not foresee more positions for his growth at that time. It was later realized that not everyone needs to be managers. And at that time, Pekka, say, had five children, a house with a sauna on credit and everyone wants to eat. For 2003, Nokia’s policy implied continuous career growth only through the managerial link. That is, at some stage, Pekke, in order to get more money, you had to become a manager. I’m not lying that for this purpose, positions were often specially organized within an existing team,

    According to this scheme, Nokia, for many people working there, in connection with relative stability, has acquired the tacit status of an almost state organization with elements of a hierarchy for long service. That is, 3 years of work - a senior engineer, another 3 - specialist and so on. Promotions within the same organization usually occurred in accordance with the amount of time worked, and all those who had not yet upgraded to a manager patiently waited for their turn.

    Well now let's look at our Pekka. He's a great antenna engineer, yes, but a shitty manager. He perfectly knows how to work alone, but feels uncomfortable managing the work of others. Moreover, as soon as Pekka becomes a manager, he is automatically invited to 20 different meetings during the week, where he needs his opinion on certain issues, plus workshops, planning, reporting, etc.

    In a short time, Pekka understands that he has enough time for his work in a new role exclusively for attending rallies and forwarding the information received on them to different authorities, in a sluggishly compiled form. The general rule is that the higher the instance, the less words and slides in PowerPoint. The lower the instance, the more tricky questions with requests for detailed answers. At the same time, among peers, Pekka feels great. He still remembers something about his antennas and can screw a word or something else, for example, in a discussion of technical roadmaps for next year.

    Since everything looks beautiful on paper, plans are approved and his opinion is appreciated, after some time Pekka begins to break away from reality. Roadmaps, plans and other talking rooms look easy and beautiful only in his head, and reality begins to lag behind his flight of thought, because someone needs to work with his hands, and if it’s Finn, then you’ll also need to think over everything thoroughly. And after some time we get a typical miscarriage of the representative of the managerial stratum of Nokia in the mid-2000s - a manager-talker-theoretician who can’t live in the old way, but can’t do it in the new way.

    Having discarded the antics, I’ll note this: Pekka every year participates in the creation and approval of development strategies and development plans, say antennas. He represents the interests of his engineers, determines what they can do and what not for the right time period. In addition, no decision can be made without his participation. And here comes a couple more paradoxes.

    First, after several such year-long iterations, Pekka realizes that every year he asserts essentially the same thing and every year it is given to him more and more smoothly, because he repeats the same arguments - verified, accurate, brief , smart, in a word polished to a shine. At some point, Pekka wonders - why? That is, why, say, the super antenna, planned in the roadmap for the year 2004, is present in the plans of 2005 and 2006 and so on? We mark this as “concern number 1” and move on.

    Secondly, at some point Pekka realizes that the number of committees and groups in which he belongs as a manager is already beginning to exceed his abilities. Each decision in a particular group requires him to delve into the details of real offers. But Pekka physically does not have time to delve into all these details, plus as an antenna specialist he is already starting to lose his qualifications, plus, more precisely minus, no one can make a decision without his consent and start working, so decisions need to be made, and preferably quickly. We mark this as "concern number 2."

    Thirdly, seeing that the implementation of plans does not keep up with boltology and drawing in PowerPoint, Pekka goes to refresher courses and learns about such a thing as risks. The concept of “risks” specifically for Pekka is good because an infinite number of them can be introduced into the analysis of any problem. Therefore, if some task is simply “not rushing”, then it can always be surrounded by a high level of risk.

    How anxious managers worked ...

    Let's go back to “concern number 1” and recall the super antenna. It is approved from year to year because everyone works well. Paradox? Nothing like this. Just after the plans, strategies and roadmaps have been approved, say for the year 2003, most of the managers responsible for this next year get promoted and begin to deal with other, more important issues. And Pekka spends one more year to explain everything to the newest generation of managers too. Then another year, etc. and so on until he himself moves to a higher position and pushes this problem to his successor.

    Although no one can blame Pekka for not promoting the super antenna. But here is the problem, in order to promote it and begin to work on it, we need a product that agrees to take it. And then there are their managers with their vision of risks, who really do not want to take a new, not a run-in chip into their product. And they don’t have time to get into the details that they can convince them, they need everything briefly, smoothly and clearly, because they suffer from the same disease as Pekka. And now, on the one hand, Pekka himself does not have time to delve into everything in order to make a decision, but on the other hand he is not understood for the same reason.

    In order to resolve the current situation in such an environment, anti-patterns begin to apply:
    1. Postponing decision-making by restructuring the problem statement, dividing it into several components, or reformulating it, and then passing it off as a new problem.
    2. Making decisions by compromising and sharing responsibility among several people, such as “I agree if everyone agrees”
    3. Delaying decision making, using risks as a key argument that hides uncertainty or unwillingness to take responsibility

    All. As a result, we get the skeleton of the very managerial layer, which over time will reign in Nokia. There’s a lot of people talking smartly and finding countless reasons to “talk about this later” and “in more detail”, but they don’t make real decisions, but wait for instructions from above, or accept them “with a creak” based on ugly compromises, so as not to create conflicts interests, or even discouraging decision-making in the bud, based on a strange system of risks, but actually waiting for someone else to solve these problems over time.

    Such an assessment of the managerial stratum is an extreme degree of grotesque; it cannot be said that without exception all managers in Nokia in the mid-2000s were like that. But to understand the picture, I use the grotesque.

    The main idea of ​​this part of the opus is to make it clear that the decision-making system, the introduction of new technologies, etc. Nokia was hopelessly spoiled by a multi-level hierarchy of bureaucracy and the struggle of managers with themselves. Once upon a time in a news publication, some mobile analysts admired the fact that Nokia was in no hurry to introduce new technologies, justifying this with the maturity of the company, its talents to carefully analyze the market situation, etc. I hasten to grieve, most of these "mature" decisions were made solely because of the slowness of the company, and in some cases it was forced, that is, only when the situation was brought to a critical state and required immediate escalation.

    Strange design decisions

    Let's move from Pekka to Mary. Maria is our senior UX designer for the S60. She develops a UI, or rather a menu for, say, a browser. If someone remembers the menu in smartphones on S60, with an investment level of up to 4 and the total number of all items is about a hundred, then I’ll understand what I’m talking about. Personally, I have the opinion that most people working in Nokia, who are just tired of life, have become either UI designers or UI testers, because in this area they have not traditionally been taught at universities and therefore they do not ask for a diploma, but a simpler application it was impossible for a person to find, further only dismissal. And as you know, in Finland it’s very, very difficult to dismiss someone just like that, it’s cheaper to keep him in the workplace, but more on that later.

    So about Mary. She essentially does not care about the browser menu. She develops it according to existing patterns, which mean for everyone to create a submenu item. She does not care about the other 20 menus on the phone and that they can duplicate each other. She can discuss for two months how to name a new submenu item - “Clear browsing history” or “Clear history”, and in the end call it “Clear data”, because in short, localization in Turkmen does not go beyond the boundaries of one line and generally average the user of “history” only knows that in 1918 Finland gained independence from Russia.

    Maria is diligently doing all her work in Adobe Acrobat, where she has prepared special templates, producing PDF files on the output. The developers swear by cutting out raster images from Adobe Reader for layouts and, as a result, redrawing everything personally, but everyone is afraid to offend Maria with a bad word, also because she is such a nice and nice person. For the same reason, the main dude who collects all the menus on the phone in one heap, once again sighs and squeezes the seventy-ninth menu item into the big picture, simultaneously redrawing everything from Acrobat to what you need. Of course, he himself would have done everything correctly, but he does not have time to explain Maria this for a long time and tedious, because otherwise, if he does everything himself without her notice, he will create a bad situation and ignore the opinions of others.

    To understand why this happens, you need to go back to Finnish roots and see, say, upbringing. As the Finns themselves say, Finland is a country of average people. And this, in principle, was justified during the war or something else where you need to withstand the use of "sisu" and not bend. According to this logic, it is better to have a hundred strong middle peasants than ten stars. From childhood, attention in Finland is paid only to the incapable and lagging behind. If you are smart, cool and talented, it is believed that you will live like that. Nobody will encourage you and equal you, but if you are immodest or upstart, they will also scold him. But those who do not have time, who find it difficult, are always in the spotlight, each of his / her small steps is considered an achievement and is extolled. Therefore, I will give advice if you are actively praised in a Finnish company,

    All this, coupled with the tendency to make compromise decisions in the absence of time, for a long time gave results similar to the example with the menu in S60. Everyone understood that there was a problem, but when its elimination descended to the personal level of Masha or Pekka, rarely did anyone take the responsibility to say, “Mary, you are doing a worthless job.” Moreover, rarely did anyone try to achieve a more creative approach to work from Mary than drawing a hundred menu items using one template. Works on something, and okay.

    Bonus and motivation system

    Bonuses at Nokia are a separate issue. For simplicity, let’s say that it didn’t make any difference how the employee worked during the year - bad, normal or excellent. This did not affect the basic salary in any way - the salary only increased with time, never decreased. This only affected the annual bonus, which, due to various intricate schemes for calculating it, was firstly never significant for staff with an average salary. In addition, secondly, the final difference between those who worked poorly and those who complied with the double norm was a hundred or two euros a year. Also, the system for evaluating the effectiveness of work was rather doubtful. In a number of cases, the priorities set at the beginning of the half year became irrelevant by the end of the year. New priorities appeared and as a result, managers shrug,

    The wage increase system was also very fuzzy. If an employee worked with increased returns during the year, then he was supposed to receive some increase. The irony was that even the increases bargained by trade unions, as compensation for inflation, were several times higher than if a person had fulfilled the double norm for several years.

    As a result, this led to the emergence of a huge number of "gonzo workers" who, realizing that they could not wait for an increase in salaries, started to jump to different positions in the organization, usually with an increase in salaries, without producing anything significant. Remember the aforementioned Pekka, and you will understand how and why it was more profitable to postpone the adoption of important decisions and not to finish the work that was begun. Yes, precisely because in a large organization it was easier to change jobs than to try to punch walls with your head.

    The greatest heights and successes in terms of raising salaries were achieved by people who transferred from Nokia to another organization and vice versa. If inside Nokia there was still some kind of salary increase policy when moving to another internal position, and some internal categories and tariffs were taken into account, then after leaving the organization and entering it back, no limits were applied. That is, you could go out as a senior developer, work for a year in an office subcontracting the same Nokia as a project manager and go back already as a senior manager with a double difference in salary. And all this in two years instead of several years of hard and responsible work in one place ...

    Insane subcontract

    At some point, when the number of managerial layers began to increase smoothly, many managers at once came to the conclusion that it was more profitable to order some projects from third-party organizations. It happened like this. For example, let's say Yucca, at 35, has already outgrown his position as a senior developer and wants to be a manager. Yucca is writing a text editor for us. Well, let's make him a manager and let him manage the creation of an editor at a conceptual level. Since architectural astronauts still promise us a global general editor of everything on the phone in the long run, we will not hire developers, we will order the whole thing to another office and make him responsible for those. tasks, and their training. The benefit is clear - no need to hire permanent workers and pay taxes for them, the amounts of expenses are clear, planned, plus responsibility and adjustable quality / acceptance criteria. And when the time comes to close the shop, then there will be no problems.

    In simple and understandable human language, at some point Nokia began to compensate the crisis and problems of internal career growth by wage workers, under the guise of a subcontract. At some point in Finland, an incredible number of firms that existed mainly due to Nokia subcontracts, and which also changed their names in the course of the play - TietoEnator (aka Tieto), Sesca (aka NeuSoft), Flander (aka Symbio) ), Almare (aka Plenware, aka Cybercom), Digia, Accenture, Ixonos and so on. Subsequently, it began to be extrapolated to outsourcing based on class differences and slavery, such as hiring 10 programmers in India, instead of one in Finland. Simply put, these same companies began to open units in India and take contracts there.

    The main and cruel problem of subcontracting is that competence and know-how due to this subcontract are eroded somewhere between the two companies, eventually nullifying all previous developments. Simply put, not all knowledge is transferable, and outsourcing directly kills the internal competence of the company. I will give an example.

    In 2008, Nokia closed the telephone factory in Germany. Well, she closed and closed, but along the way she also closed the department that was developing the means of local communication in telephones. This department, which by the way was one of the most advanced in terms of technical competence, was overbought by Sasken. After the factory was closed, Nokia entered into a subcontract with the same Sasken, and the same department, already in a very thinning structure, continued to do the same work for Nokia. A year later, Sasken disbanded this department under the pretext of moving the business to India. If you can imagine how the contents of the brains of German engineers can be forwarded over several years to Bangalore and to train even ten times as many Indian programmers-remodelers at the proper level, then go ahead and patent the method. The story of the German factory is only one in a series of similar ones. The final part of the story is that at some stage Nokia gave the green light to Indian programmers to rewrite this code from scratch, because no one remembered and understood very little about it, but this code was simply not touched for years. When it became necessary to carry out global refactoring, it seemed that it was easier to write it again. The laughter is that it only seemed to be easier. As a result - deadlines, multiple attacks on the same rake and the invention of crooked bicycles. When it became necessary to carry out global refactoring, it seemed that it was easier to write it again. The laughter is that it only seemed to be easier. As a result - deadlines, multiple attacks on the same rake and the invention of crooked bicycles. When it became necessary to carry out global refactoring, it seemed that it was easier to write it again. The laughter is that it only seemed to be easier. As a result - deadlines, multiple attacks on the same rake and the invention of crooked bicycles.

    I repeat, this is only one of the many stories. During its heyday, Nokia shuffled and surpassed a huge number of its competencies through Finnish, Chinese, Indian and Romanian subcontracts, where this knowledge was, if not lost, then suffered fairly, including being misinterpreted by inexperienced engineers.

    If we take and take a look, let's say to Microsoft, with Ballmer's obsessive-compulsive recitation - “Developers! Developers! Developers! ”, Then we will notice a very interesting trend. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that Microsoft outsource ALL but the core business. That is, the main value - the code is written internally by programmers who belong to the organization. You can outsource psychologists, graphic designers, logistics, lawyers, accounting, localization and translation, etc. but outsourcing technology competency that represents the core business is not possible. Unfortunately, the outsourcing model in Nokia was exactly the opposite - the code and implementation of technologies were done in dozens of other organizations by subcontracting.

    The logical result of this? As a result, Nokia finds itself in a situation where the managerial layer in some areas is already the final link in the hierarchy. In fact, it turns out a crowd of smart and many talking former specialists, who now put technical tasks to third-party organizations. That is, at the moment, their main talents, with which they were once valuable, are not fully utilized. And in trading and transferring papers from the left edge of the table to the right, former engineers often lack talent. After all, what is work with outsourcing? It is a dynamic struggle between two managers for terms and prices. In such work, the very contents of the contract are often not analyzed deeply enough. And it’s far from a secret that in the process of subcontracting some key requirements that passed through the hands of several chain managers simply fell out of the delivered product.

    Well, that's all we discussed. Now imagine an organization in which the main business represents one large subcontract. Presented? This is Nokia until 2008.


    When Nokia released the 9110 communicator in 1998, at some stage it became clear that without a full-fledged multi-tasking OS, it would be difficult to work in this direction. A completely different question was whether a multi-tasking OS was required for regular phones, even smart, because the output of the first iPhone and such a thing as Windows Phone 7 after 10 years clearly showed that you can assemble the necessary applications into a very tasty and revered phone and without " full "OS. Nevertheless, at that time, and precisely for communicators, multitasking was needed. Nokia alone did not have the resources to write it. But since Nokia was already an adult company with ambitions, then at least she wanted to do the appearance or UI on her own.

    As a result, Nokia had to choose between two offers - Windows CE and EPOC. Yes, an alliance with Microsoft could take place already in 1998, but for some reason Microsoft did not agree to separate the UI directly from Windows CE, and therefore, for a number of other reasons, Nokia began working with Psion.

    For those who do not know, in 1998, an office was created under the name Symbian Ltd., which included the founders - Psion, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, where this unique model of a chimerical mobile platform with elements of insanity originated. Symbian Ltd. made three versions of the mobile platform - for Nokia called S60, for Motorola and Erickson called UIQ and for a specific Japanese market called MOAP. All of them had a different UI and different priorities for features. That is, for example, a kernel feature that was adopted for UIQ could linger for a year for S60 or vice versa, etc.

    Here it should be said one more thing. EPOC and Symbian as a platform were written immediately in C ++, but at a time when there was no single standard for C ++. Therefore, Symbian is known for its “strange” features of programming in C ++, to put it mildly, which were very foully respected by software developers. The development of the entire platform, including the kernel, immediately in C ++ led to another feature. None of the existing open source could be used on it without porting to C ++, which complicated the already difficult development.

    C ++ features, the inability to use open source packages in pure C, and other originality of the OS were supplemented by a completely idiotic SDK model and development documentation. A bunch of disparate API packages and a poor consistency in their use led to an interesting situation. To set up a development environment and write a “Hello World!” Application, an average developer with knowledge of ordinary C ++ took up to a week. You can compare it with Xcode for iOS or with Android SDK. It is not surprising that in the two years of the existence of the same iPhone applications, almost more was written for it than for all time for Symbian. And do not care that more than half of these applications are just graphomaniac garbage. The bottom line is that the development for Symbian was quite a difficult thing for beginning independent programmers. And with the widespread development of Symbian and its introduction into smartphones, there was a need for education and training of a separate type of specialists - a developer for Symbian. As a result, after the massive cuts in Nokia, some of them found it rather difficult to find work for obvious reasons of lack of demand.

    The problem with the development for Symbian was basically solved by creating more intelligible APIs and putting in order documentation, examples, writing elementary RADs for the same Eclipse / Carbide. This eventually began to be done at sunset in Symbian - partly through Qt, partly through screwing plain C libraries, but time was lost and independent mobile developers saw an alternative in other axes quickly dumped there.

    Was this an operating system problem per se? My opinion is that no. It was possible to finish the Symbian to a competitive state. As some may be convinced by the example of the latest Symbian devices, in the end it was thoroughly licked, and so some mobile analysts immediately rushed to write another treatise on the topic that Nokia refused it in vain, etc. But this entire article was written to show that Nokia’s problems were not in the OS or technical solutions, but in a clumsy organization that stupidly did not keep up with competitors who did not have such organizational problems.

    And the reality was this - there was an OS, the core of which was developed by subcontracting between Nokia and Symbian managers, the middleware and UI of which was written by Nokia itself, as the S60 platform, there were specific phone programs that wrote the necessary features that were not yet implemented in the platform, nor in S60 ... Plus, Simbian himself, who wrote the OS, was engaged not only in Nokia, but also made two branches for other participants in this enterprise. For fun, I can add that the S60 with all the original Nokia decorations was also offered as a separate platform for licensees - Samsung and LG.

    As a result, the situation got ridiculous. For example, a programmer from S60 and a programmer from Symbian could, as a result of joint work on a project, implement an additional feature ahead of time, which still had to be done sometime, to test it and put it into the build. Further, this working and implemented feature was subsequently thrown out, first from the next version of S60, and then from Symbian due to the fact that managers were not able to approve it in the current requirements for any one of them led calculations of risks and priorities. As a result, both programmers had to edit their tested code in order to isolate this feature from what was approved in the version.

    There were such cases as, for example, one of the main components in the Symbian communication library was written by a student undergoing summer practice. And then, no improvement requirements for this component were accepted for a long time by any product, because no one knew the code, refactoring it did not meet the deadlines, and the risk of touching it was always calculated as significant. As a result, this led to the fact that a separate component could not touch for several years at all for risk reasons, even if there was a real need to improve it. For a couple of years, Pekka did not want to take him on risks, and then handed him to Jukka, who braked him for a couple of years due to reasons of low priority requirements.

    As a result, over the years of the existence of such a model, the amount of bureaucracy and the buffer layer between the two organizations has grown, and the quality of products has decreased, because for each specific program for the production of a specific model of the smartphone there has always been a terrible hemorrhoids - from which to collect the final software? Tolley wait until it is written by Symbian, or S60, or write for yourself, or order subcontractors. And all this happened against the background of a dynamic, exhausting fuss with priorities of technical requirements and a constant conflict of interests between managers of different fragmented groups.

    What is fragmentation?

    In Nokia, in addition to the natural ideological inconsistencies between Symbian and S60 for a long time there was another level of fragmentation called the business direction of smartphones. He arose not immediately, but gradually. Actively, he began to aggravate one fine day when a throaty and witty dude named Anssi Wanyoki appeared on the horizon, who, through active, completely unusual behavior for the Finns and pressure, proved the need to create a whole direction called Multimedia.

    Before that there were other attempts to make specialized directions, such as S90 or NGage. If you don’t know, then the S90 was Nokia’s attempt to make Touch UI phones long before Android and iPhone, which is exactly what most current smartphone users are working with now, poking a dirty finger at the screen. S90 really didn’t suppose a finger, but used a traditional wand - a stylus, but nonetheless. Years of work, hundreds of people, failed phones 7700 and 7710, a bunch of prototypes including touch-tablets that never saw the light, and millions of dollars spent almost nowhere.

    Ask about NGage? It was supposed to be a mobile game console. Two devices actually came out - NGage and NGage QD, after which the initiative was transferred to the service plane similar to the Microsoft Xbox, where it finally died, because users couldn’t understand why they need to run some kind of NGage, if the game is possible and just like that to deliver. As you know, the policy of distributing applications under Symbian has long been absolutely insane - under the name “Form Eight” (we ’ll google it, we wear it). As a result, there are also millions of dollars spent.

    So, about the witty dude Anssi. Unlike the S90 and NGage, he somehow sold his line and Nokia at some time actually released three lines of smartphones - ordinary, multimedia (which were persistently called mobile computers) and business. At the same time, with the exception of the extra letter N at the beginning of the index, no one could clearly say how Multimedia Moblie Computers differ from ordinary smartphones and how they both differ from business solutions. For example, there was a Nokia 3250 phone, which was even stronger than some N-Series, and included all the chips with music and video. At one time, no one could clearly explain to me why it is not multimedia. There was such a proverb noted by one mobile onolytek - if a dude uses the phrase “Mobile Computer” when talking about the phone, then this is a Nokia Multimedia employee. That is the true truth.

    With all this grandeur, the presence of fragmentation physically resulted in the duplication of different teams. For example, there was an ordinary team that had its X millionth annual budget and developed, say, camera software for the main S60 line. And in the neighboring town there was another similar team, with an even bigger budget, which made software for the camera for the so-called "Mobile computers", that is, the same smartphones with the prefix N. Two teams, double expenses, two code branches that naturally did not intersect. And at the same time, another team was sitting in Symbian who was making software for the camera, say for UIQ. Again, wasting money.

    There were a lot of such teams arising from fragmentation in the mid-2000s. I have a little neglected E-Series - smartphones for business, usually with a QWERTY keyboard and integration into corporate services. There was fragmentation, too, because the priorities of the business teams did not coincide with the priorities of multimedia and together they stood across the throat of the plans of ordinary boys from S60. If for the first we say it was vital to synchronize contacts with Exchange Server, then for the second it was important to synchronize music with Windows Media Player and both teams looked at different things, say the software for the built-in camera - face recognition is important for one, and barcodes for the second business cards.

    In short, because of the fragmentation of the business, a lot of money was spentwasted in double (and sometimes triple) work. It is hard to say how many of them were spent in numbers, but if once these sums are announced, then I think that a couple of Arab sheikhs will suffocate with envy. It is no secret that when the fall of Nokia began, it provided itself a couple of years of life stupidly by reducing such unnecessary expenses and optimizing the business. Unfortunately, in that same period, a lot of “re-optimizations” were made, which pushed the organization back. As a rule, this was done by remodeling boys with two-year freshness with MBA diplomas in their pocket, who stupidly transferred everything that could be subcontracted to Romania and India, with corresponding consequences. Well, yes, the author has already written enough about this ...

    About insane expenses

    Since we are talking about spending, one cannot but mention, among others, the morning plane Helsinki-Oulu. An ordinary airplane like MD-11 for 200 passengers flies even now. Flies in the morning, flies 600 km, in the evening back. In the old days, 90% of passengers were Nokia employees, joking that the remaining 10% of passengers were industrial spies. Then each on arrival still paid 30 euros for a one-way taxi, then back. And there were other “semi-regular” planes, to London - there Symbian, to Germany, to Canada, etc. The mid-level manager at Nokia “flew” over the year to the Finair silver card, which corresponds to OneWorld Ruby, which is 40,000 points. This despite the fact that a flight within Europe will bring you about 3,000 one-way, and to the States about 5,000. If you are a manager in a virtual team, which is spread between Finland, Canada and China,

    They flew a lot, flew often, with or without reason, to all corners of the world. Sometimes it was really easier to fly for a couple of days from Finland to Germany, hold an hour-long meeting there and fly back to solve the problem quickly. When they began to cut costs, the first thing they did was to install Tandberg video conferencing systems at a cost of $ 20,000 apiece to reduce flights. As a result, no one used them, because the Finns are naturally shy and do not really like to show themselves on TV, and the conference systems were divided somewhere, replacing with conventional webcams, which, however, are rarely used by anyone.

    Why all this? It is unclear why create virtual teams with a bunch of developers living in different time zones, etc. if their coordination ultimately takes just an unreasonable amount of money and time? At a certain time in Nokia it was a tradition to have representatives from all countries and continents in the team, respectively working in the community. If the goal of creating such teams was to give Finnish engineers from a small country a look at the world, then this goal was achieved. If the goal was to ensure effective work, then I strongly disagree with such methods.

    Another item of irresponsible expenses was the purchase of companies. I will give one example. In 2005, Nokia spent $ 430 million on the purchase of Intellisync. After the lapse of time, no one could so clearly say what was bought. I applaud standing at the owners of the Intellisync business, who were able to steal a piece of shitso successfully sell your business. At the time of the purchase of this company, they did not even have a normal SyncML solution for data synchronization. All they had was slurred services for MSN and an engine for synchronization between Outlook and Palm / Windows Mobile, written in xs what year for DOS 16 and since then containing this code. One of Nokia’s few really useful acquisitions, Trolltech, which wrote Qt, cost the company $ 150 million, almost three times less. And this is strange, they didn’t kill anyone for wasting such money, they didn’t fire them, they didn’t initiate a criminal case. We spent xs on what and all right, God bless him.

    This is not an isolated example, but in my opinion - the most extreme in the history of the company. The full list of purchases can be seen here:www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/investors/acquisitions-and-divestments/acquisitions-and-divestments . To my deep regret, he does not give real figures in dollars or euros, and also does not give a final assessment of the usefulness of the purchased company. I dare say that a sufficient number of companies bought in this way dissolved in Nokia with almost no trace.

    There were also applicants with the purchase of professional services instead of companies. For example, Nokia from 2002 to 2008 regularly paid one English office of five people at 1.8 million dollars a year for a synchronization program with Microsoft Outlook for Windows. At the same time, the company did not own the source code until at the end of 2008 it was sold to it for a fee. This office subsequently left the software altogether and opened a real estate business in London. Buzz?

    The main problem with such unreasonable and insane expenses is the lack of responsibility. Yes, that's right, for the reasons described above, in Nokia, rarely anyone was responsible. First, a collective decision is made, the worst possible, due to the fact that it is formed on the basis of a compromise in order not to offend anyone, absorbing all the shortcomings. Then the responsibility for making this decision is spread. In the style of - bought a thousand sets of Tandberg for 20 million, put and to hell with it. Then a smart uncle will come and say that they are not needed - we will make a decision that they are not needed. Well, in that spirit. Reminds you of voting for the symbol of the Sochi 2014 Olympics - Leopard, White Bear and Zaika, then Putin will tell you exactly who.

    About secrets and about mobile analysts

    In the 2000s, Nokia for a long time spat on the opinions of users. Yes, this is a fact that has been repeatedly covered in the press by mobile and not very analysts. There was not even a little bit of a clear form of feedback. There was no analytics, no web, no crash, no usage, no other statistics. Few people in the company imagined WHAT exactly real people want.

    Mobile phones were invented on the basis of magical calculations using some strange coordinate system, where the X axis extended from donkey housewives and farmers from Peru to vice presidents of high-tech companies, while the young Y enthusiasts, Internet surfers, gamers, music lovers, and pragmatic business leaders. As a result, smart diagrams were created, with clusters that supposedly showed potential niches for new phone models. How it all could be created without real and regular feedback from users - I still don’t know.

    As you know, the result of Nokia's activity during the year was the release of a certain number of new phones. With the exception of design innovations, it was sometimes difficult to say how one phone differs from another in terms of the same software. The answer to the question - “WHY did the company spray itself onto several models during the year?” Lies in the very table of ranking potential users along the X, Y axes and another letter from the Russian alphabet.

    If you look honestly at that situation, then out of ten phones released per year, the number of normal phones rarely exceeded 2-3. As a rule, even if the software was 99% identical, the whole thing rested on the main product manager. If the manager was good, then the product was relatively buggy. That is why many people remember the 6300 or N95 or E71 models, but they didn’t remember much, say the 7500, N96 or E72. And phones like 7610 or N97, frankly, Nokia remembered with shame.

    Yes, it was all about the manager. If he had a personal desire and the task of releasing a high-quality phone, he tested it himself day and night, kicked everyone, made him work, delayed the release when necessary, etc. But there were only a few. Unfortunately, the characteristics of the main managerial staff, I have already cited above. Together with the lack of responsibility, this gave such results as everyone saw. They released a buggy phone and do not care - still five more are in a row, we’ll finish it. They released the product on time, bonuses were received, and that’s it - we are moving to another project, to other ideas, eternal growth, striving forward.

    At the same time, sometimes, in principle, there was a lack of understanding that people do not buy phones 3 times a year, and that in 2005 people still use models released in 2000. Nokia employees lived on those prototypes that would only see the light of next year, or even later. Therefore, any adequate claims on the quality of existing phones were often dismissed under the pretext - "God, this is such a junk!" Such is the separation from reality. Firmware updates were made only in the service center, and only bugs were fixed in them, no new features or platforms. What is now a buzzword called customer retention was absent in principle, and there was gross production led by driven out managers who chronically did not have enough time and for any reason there was a bunch of “risks” in their pocket. To explain to the manager that it is necessary to spend a month of work on elementary refactoring in order to improve the stability and extensibility of the component, to platform ten vertically written features was almost impossible. The same time wasted. Why refactor what already worked in the previous model? Wrote - do not touch, etc.

    Against the background of all this, sometimes articles appeared in the press and on the Internet that contained criticism, suggestions for improvement, some common thoughts and hints. It’s stupid to say that they didn’t see any problems inside the company. These articles were cited, sent from department to department, but due to the lack of clear responsibility, specific measures were rarely taken, only on the most egregious facts such as mass marriage. Including measures were not taken due to the fact that, as already mentioned, there was simply no conceptual feedback mechanism in Nokia. There was a PR department, which was mainly engaged in voicing the official position of the company, and the possibilities of organizing feedback, and even more so bringing it to the right level and teams within the organization were minimal.

    Here we must make a digression and again recall the Finnish mentality. Intelligent and modest Finns really do not like to swear and sort things out. Any hitting, criticism or scandal confuses them, makes them blush and silently quickly steps away from the source of emotional discomfort. This, in essence, happened on a more global scale, when mobile analysts publicly wrote multi-page opuses with overt claims and assaults. It was easier to ignore them and not to fall to the level of arena, but this created a precedent as if Nokia was behaving too arrogant, as it supposedly “does not want to be responsible for the quality of the product”, etc., well, you probably remember.

    Against this background, some mobile truth-bearers cutting the uterus left and right, among others, received their loyal audience inside Nokia, that is, among those employees who sincerely wanting to eliminate problems within the company, they tried to point out the existing shortcomings with the words of mobile analysts. Here are some of these fans of the printed word, too, drove their nails into the coffin of the previous organization.

    This usually happened like this. People with access to prototypes “in secret” gave them to the subject to play with famous mobile experts. Those promised to give them their private feedback tank, as well as test the phone and generally express an authoritative expert opinion that supposedly helps to improve the product. In reality, all that most of such experts want is just to get an exclusive. Here I deliberately make a distinction between real experts and "such" experts.

    The fact is that Nokia, like other companies, hire certain organizations for testing and researching products, organize focus groups for pre-sale testing, etc. In this case, an official non-disclosure document is drawn up, which provides for liability for information leakage. This is how real experts and analysts work.

    All the rest, who did not get a place at the feeding trough , do everything from self-PR to truth-searching, and sometimes their desperate desire to be of some magnitude and find even a dubious, but recognition, can sometimes go beyond the bounds of decency.

    I think that many have heard about the events when one of these analysts published a review of the prototype of the N8 phone before its official presentation. In this regard, Nokia’s management was forced to postpone the date of the official announcement of the model the day after the publication of the review. I don’t know whether it’s worth saying that such an analyst simply framed his informants. It’s definitely not worth talking about the real consequences of these leaks for the people who committed them. I will only express my personal regret that the countermeasures against this analyst were not brought to the end, using all the power of the disinterested law enforcement system of Russia, and specifically the press huts in the pre-trial detention center over the long weekend, as some of the Russian-speaking employees of Nokia persistently suggested. Therefore, this type, having broken himself, continues to be actively drawn in public, doing a good face on a bad game and passing off your personal emotions as objective information. Well, God bless him. From this story, the following should be learned.

    Человек который дает прототипы или иные результаты своей промежуточной работы в руки третьего лица без официального документа о неразглашении, грубо говоря гадит себе в компот или пилит сук на которых котором он сидит. Даты анонсов продукта и даты его выпуска очень точно рассчитываются. Я могу сказать, что ничего так тщательно не рассчитывается производителями мобильных телефонов да и вообще бытового железа, как даты анонса, выпуска и характеристики продуктов. История показывает, что иногда можно даже наплевать на качество, но выпустить продукт в рассчитанный срок. Почему это происходит? Из за конкурентной борьбы, а так же из за особенностей производства мобильников.

    The fact is that the characteristics of iron are planned in advance and very carefully. The process of manufacturing an iron platform itself is a thing very far from software characteristics, because theoretically you can pull software on iron after release, if the model allows, for example, by issuing a hotfix or update - not sugar but not fatal. But if you miscalculate with iron, then competitors will devour you. At the same time, it is necessary to select the iron not anyhow what, but high-quality and so that the final price makes a profit and does not roll over. It is also necessary to make sure that after the announcement before the product appears in stores, the response of competitors is minimized, etc.

    As a result, the terms for the announcement and release of the product are very carefully verified dates when everything should come together, and subsequently make a profit. People who do not understand this and violate the privacy regime disclosing the characteristics of prototypes are simply idiots. As a result, falling profits hit their own pockets, or even deprive them of their work, as some Protestant enthusiasts from Symbian have visually felt sitting for half a year on benefits. But of course, in the end it is up to a specific person to decide what is more important to him.

    Until a certain time, the secrecy mode in Nokia was so formal that all roadmaps, names and characteristics of prototypes were available on the network for almost everyone. Prototypes were stolen in factories, forgotten in taxis, stolen even from DHL hubs when they were transferred from one team to another. Entire presentations, mostly for mobile operators, leaked to the network. Mobile and not-so-very analysts very confidently openly discussed on the pages of their publications the characteristics of one not released prototype versus another, also not released. Compare this and suppose how much such information you find about Apple products, and you will get another problem of the company that Elop received.

    About Ovi in ​​the summer

    The apofigee of the development of the company was of course an attempt to reorient it to services. By that time, the company had neither competencies, nor infrastructure, nor methodology, in short, nothing to make quality services. But nevertheless, one fine day, the company’s management presented a detailed plan that directly stated that Nokia’s direct competitors are Apple and Google, which already have service infrastructures and who are climbing into the smartphone market with them. It's ridiculous, but let's say Samsung in this announcement was not directly recognized as a competitor, but was seen as a hardware company that could not stand the competition with service offices. Therefore, it was proposed to create a competitive service infrastructure from scratch and call it Ovi (in translation from Finnish - Door).

    The first step towards bringing chaos was the official and widespread adoption of Agile practices in all areas of development. The number of scrum-masters and product-overs just went wild, since the courses take only 2 days. Throughout the organization, there were a bunch of preachers with various agile bibles, sometimes offering such an extreme approach to creating everything in general that sometimes gave the impression that flexible methodologies and anarchy were one and the same. With all this bacchanalia, few imagined how exactly flexible methodologies should be adapted specifically to its field. Previously, the software development process in Nokia flowed smoothly from the development environment of iron and firmware such as controllers, where almost nothing can be intelligently applied except for the waterfall methodology, because it is difficult to deal with flexible methodologies in the assembly of iron. For this reason, software produced for phones has long been tied to the specific requirements of the final product (the phone, not the OS for it) with a formal description in UML and RUP-like development methods. It came to the point that the developer was obliged to provide a functional and design specification even before he wrote at least one line of code. This of course was very annoying, and as usual there were crowds of admirers of flexible methodologies who did not get tired of yelling about it on every corner. Having received the desired in full, so to speak, by the kick ass method, these same adherents, already being part of specific teams, simply fell into a stupor, eventually turning the same Scrum into a completely idiotic mechanism, when the developer was required to register every step tools like Trac, JIRA or bugzilla, enter there the time spent up to minutes and engage in other idiotic metric activities, instead of writing code calmly. The issue with the scaling of teams and the organization of structures larger than the scrum of scrum was generally almost unsolvable and it was torn apart by the good old waterfall. In short, a new undertaking began with an organizational mess.

    The second not entirely clear step was to get an answer to the natural question - what kind of services do we want? And which one to undertake first, and which then? There were a huge number of proposals, which, however, over time quietly suffocated. Nothing is better than repeating a sacred link - cards, contacts, mail, files, music, videos, pictures were not found at first. And if we explained to ourselves the need to create and the fundamental difference between Nokia services and non-Nokia services was relatively simple, then it was very difficult for the end user to do this. Considering that similar services from Google and Apple have already worked, it was very difficult to make the same services competitive in a short time, and even more so make the user switch to them. The main bet was that Nokia has a huge resource in the form of existing phone users, and through the phone it will be possible to “hook” them onto similar Ovi services. It was supposed to start planting from a service - an application store, which, as it is not strange, eventually succeeded, as did a service with cards.

    The third step, which brought embarrassment to the ranks of service programmers, which for some reason few realized in detail, was the question - what technologies will Nokia build the infrastructure for services on? In some cases, the answer was trivial, we take open source then open source it, we screw this database to this backend, do everything with JavaScript and the RESTfull API, and "we have everything on the cool," and what’s missing is for purchase (see . about Intellisync). There were those who shook SOA volumes, and talked about WS-I, SOAP, and other WebServices architecture. No fundamental disputes were noticed, but in the end, different services were built on different ideologies. Experienced specialists longevity of such optimism caused great doubts, but the general enthusiasm and the amount of money invested in the end won.

    As a result, when Agile teams from Vancouver to Bangalore got involved, with a lack of experience in building mass services and in organizing their intercommunication models (single sign-on, user-centric data, etc.), things started to move with big by labor.

    It should be recognized that many things done during the time of the general “doorway”, Nokia did good. Implementation of Agile methodologies, implementation of NPS and generally organization of analytics and user feedback channels, focus on customer retention, partial departure from Symbian, release of maps and navigation programs, etc.

    However, in the end, Ovi quietly bent down, some of the services that remained, such as mail, were transferred to Yahoo. You can argue for a long time about whether Ovi is bent before the change of company strategy or whether this change of strategy has bent it. In any case, how many grandmas were driven into this initiative, the story, as usual, is silent.

    But in this whole story there is another positive element.

    Another positive element

    We forgot a little about the managerial layer. Meanwhile, this ballast is still here. According to the law of conservation of mass, they flow to where there is money, where you can talk about anything, and where against the backdrop of the mass illusion of progress, you can also portray ardent activity. And so it happened with Ovi. All the throats and theoretical managers, eventually surfaced there. I will give one example.

    Nokia regularly and often produced various types of phones for one segment of customers that it didn’t want to squeeze into, but instead asked for less, but better quality and backward compatibility ... Since there were a lot of products, there were formal business processes, which allowed these products to be produced, from beginning to end. One of these processes was called Product Creation Process, which actually described what needs to be done in order to justify, design, and so on, a mobile phone. So, one of the newly emerging ideologists Ovi presented to the public a completely official document called the Service Creation Process, which in fact was tracing paper with PCP, made by the same person who just got a new post in the new organization. The same slides only some words are replaced with “product” in the sense of “mobile phone” with “product” in the sense of “service”. Debility is exceptional, but reflects the mental state of the managerial stratum. As you can see, some of them apparently seriously believed that Nokia would launch 10 new services per year ...

    The positive thing about this is that Ovi slightly pulled the manager's ballast from the phones, which made it possible to calmly and really begin to finish Symbian and seriously take on Mayo on Linux to create a decent platform for a war with competitors. And something was even possible, the first thing they did was eliminate the graveyard model of perpetual outsourcing, by buying Symbian, the developers were offered Qt and made a more or less sane package, which is relatively easy to install. They introduced a fairly understandable version system, gradually began to remove most of the fragmentations, all of these E-Series, N-Series, etc. After screwing Qt to Symbian, we started porting it to S40 and Maemo. Qt as the main library, a single toolkit and framework for greatly facilitated and improved the development process. It happened that Qt managed to dampen and level even the terrible Hindu code, whose share by the way was inexorably reduced. Moreover, they turned Symbian into something like an open source community called the Symbian Foundation and opened up most of the code under the EPL.

    Nevertheless, after the purchase of Symbian, a number of requirements managers appeared, who in the past mainly flew to and from London and ended up without work. Some of them leaked to Ovi, but a fair amount continued to poison the organization. And suddenly, against this background, Ovi actually died. Quietly, without a pump, but the managerial layer from there began to slowly flow away, where do you think?

    Yes, at this point Nokia began to invest in the development of the MeeGo platform, the successor to Maemo, and to prepare for the release of N950, N9 phones and some others. Along with the means, though already without its former glamor, the managerial layer began to pour in, migrating from the already outdated Ovi. From that moment on, the office was already doomed.

    A fair number of people say that the final result of MeeGo was not so bad. Honestly, it could have been even better. Original UI design, honest Linux, Qt, and all that. The whole direction was simply buried by the infection of talkers, in the form of decision committees, management groups and the rest of the ballast, with which MeeGo turned into a clumsy monster from the old days.

    So what did Elop do after all?

    Well, just imagine - you have a company that seems to be a leader, but all its dynamics indicators are zero, if not negative, while competitors are actively gaining momentum.

    Everything, even tactical roadmaps, is planned for years, everywhere collective responsibility, or rather lack of it, detailed strategic planning is carried out from under the stick and traditionally none of them are implemented on time, a lot of money is spent and spent FIG knows what, any of your steps are simple stuck in a swamp, around a dime a dozen philosophizing experts who really have not been doing anything for a long time, as well as an endless set of human processes. Most of the core business has been left to subcontractors, without which it is no longer possible to breathe.

    And in this situation, you can’t quickly release, say, a phone with a resolution of 1280x720 even if there is hardware, because Symbian has not yet been sharpened for this business, and sharpening will end in time only when it becomes irrelevant. And you can’t release an LTE phone, although technologists have invested in the standard since its foundation, but hell, introducing it on MeeGo will take one and a half years at the most optimistic estimates. And already there are Korean models with LTE in the market, though traditionally curves.

    So what would you do? Here is what Elop did:

    • He neutralized the influential component of managerial ballast. Abolished all committees, decision boards, management groups, etc.
    • Thus abolished collective responsibility and introduced personal. Now every manager is responsible for making decisions within his competence, and making rash decisions directly affects his career. Some people, by the way, by inertia tried to work the old way and eventually flew to free bread.
    • Neutralized the competency component of ballast. You are a cool balabol theorist in Symbian - “come on, goodbye!” There is no more Symbian, if you want to work on a profile - work for Accenture.
    • Eliminated feeders for subcontractors in the main line of business. And vice versa, it brought the non-core business to outsourcing. Unfortunately, in the main business, some of the subcontractors sucked so tightly that for a long time it was not possible to tear them off without damage.
    • Optimized costs. Fragmentation has been eliminated, albeit fundamentally - by eliminating its very cause. No OSes - no problem.
    • Virtual teams are eliminated, and therefore the need for unnecessary travel. Independent parts of the product are developed on a site basis.

    We should also say about MeeGo. There was, there was a real hope that it would come up, especially since the very same Windows Phone as a platform at that time was not much better. But after watching MeeGo for some time and analyzing how its operational components work, the conclusion was disappointing - Nokia’s internal machinery is not capable of producing software products with the right quality for the required time. One of the reasons is the very ballast that permeated the organization from top to bottom, including MeeGo. I will not reveal the secret of the Opener, but I will hint that after the liquidation of MeeGo, further attempts to compete with Android using its platform on Linux, and the achievements of MeeGo were approved. But they were also buried, for the same reasons - the internal software development processes were too slow, and there was no time to learn.

    With all this, one must also look at the inexorably decreasing money spent on Ovi, on the purchase of Intellisync, on tickets to Bangalore and London and the payment of irresponsible subcontracts.

    I will not specifically consider other aspects of Elop's activities, such as early product promises at WP, factory closures, etc. It was sucked many times without me and I won’t say anything new here. However, in conclusion, I repeat once again - Elop had no choice but to completely restructure the company by moving the main software development to another company. Unfortunately, Nokia’s internal processes have led their own development processes to a dead end, and even Android would not have saved the company due to the widespread bureaucracy and the constant practice of making collective decisions based on compromises.

    Separately, I apologize for not quite the Russian language and clogging up with English terms. Unfortunately, the author is not entirely Russian and does not know how correctly some terms are now called in the modern language.

    UPD:I beg you to pay attention to the fact that the information in this post reflects the situation in the company prevailing in 2010, before its restructuring and change of strategy. As I have repeatedly mentioned, the current Nokia is a new company that, in its reorganization, took into account the above shortcomings and fought directly with them. Unfortunately, even within the company, many still do not understand what the true reasons behind the change in strategy, platform and working methods are, therefore this post is not so much an insider as an attempt to explain what exactly Nokia took with one decisive step, including itself to her employees. The current situation in the updated company with a new strategy, the author does not know yet, but sincerely believes that all measures taken will ultimately lead Nokia to success. Thanks so much for the comments,


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