The Elop Impact, the strategic reality of his decision and why it was the right call once and for all.
Posted this in the other Elop forum but feel like it should be its own post. Wishful thinking on my part, but I wish everyone who is still talking about Nokia using Android or using Symbian or whatever would just focus on the reality of today. 1) Nokia is a Windows Phone Shop. and 2) Elop made the right decision and this is why:
People people people. Anyone who suggests that Nokia could/should/would have done better managing two major smartphone OS’s simultaneously is either subject to wishful thinking at best or simply has never worked in a corporate turnaround situation first hand.
What Nokia needed to do and had to do to survive is one thing. Focus. That’s it, I’ll channel my inner Ballmer and say it again. Focus focus focus.
Yes, Symbian may have been a cash cow, but it was also a different animal, a hog, i.e. a resource hog, an attention hog, a mindshare hog. How, in practical terms, could a corporation like Nokia do an about face when in effect it would be splitting it’s global resources in half, or even 60/40 between two “children”?
Same exact argument goes for Android. Yes, HTC and Samsung sell both, but do they do their best at both? At the end of the day, there is a strategic and practical nature to all this, when you split your attention strategically and organizationally, it creates a unavoidable effect. You now have two mouths to feed. How do you split your marketing budget? How do you split your R&D? How do you allocate personnel and your most talented employees? You see the problem here?
A little rant but I’m tired of everyone and there mother whining about Nokia should’ve could’ve done this or that with Symbian, Android, Linux, whatever. You don’t make these kinds of cultural, organizational, financial, industrial, global changes on a massive scale without focus. Elop may have accelerated Symbian’s decline but it was a necessary step to “wipe the slate” and get his entire company to wake up and stop dawdling and get down to focus on the reality. That reality was, we are a windows phone shop, get with it, get on it or get off the bus. Look at his most recent interview, part of his role was not just in setting a strategic direction but simply to slap some heads and get people to focus and work smarter, work faster.
Doing anything besides focus on one OS would have been vastly counterproductive to this goal, despite what anybody says.
TLDR; Killing two birds with one stone might work if you are a foraging caveman, not so much if you are a global corporation with limited resources, time and manpower locked in a life and death struggle.