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5 Minutes on The Verge: Nokia's Richard Kerris

5 Minutes on The Verge: Nokia's Richard Kerris


We spoke with Richard Kerris, Nokia Global Head of Developer Relations, about what he's working on, technology he's been surprised by, his phone preferences, and the next wave of tech.

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Formerly VP of HP's Worldwide Developer Relations, Richard Kerris left the webOS team recently to join Nokia as Global Head of Developer Relations. He's been at the job for just over a month now, and he spared a few moments of his time to answer some of our pressing questions on life, technology, and a handful of items in between. The exchange is below, and we think you'll enjoy it.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on meeting the great Nokia teams, learning the company processes, products and working with developers

Where are you?

I'm right here. I'll be working out of our new beautiful Sunnyvale offices - come visit!

What's the most surprising thing that's happened in technology in the last 5 years? What didn't you see coming?

The most surprising thing is we STILL don't have jetpacks. I mean, what's up with that?

What didn't we see coming?

I think how fast apps, and more importantly, developers have become such an important part of the experience of smart phone usage.

What kind of phone are you using?

I have a Nokia Lumia 800, a Nokia N9 and a few others I can’t tell you about (or I would have to kill you!)

Mac or PC?

The more we get to the cloud, the more it doesn't matter. I use a Mac, but I also have a PC and a Linux box. I think my SGI still boots up too...

You're focused on developer relations — what's the biggest challenge at Nokia in regards to devs?

Our biggest challenge is to help developers be successful, globally.

It's not an Apps numbers game, it's about a developers success. We want to help make developers successful on our platform all around the globe.

What's the coolest thing that you're working on at Nokia?

"The next billion."

It's amazing to think Nokia ships a million phones a day.

People can easily get lost with shiny objects, but it’s the emerging markets that are really exciting to us. It's about bringing developers into the space of feature and smart phones, and broadening what the devices can do for these areas of the world where these phones are their first and only connection to the web.

You just left HP and the webOS team — what was the biggest mistake that was made there?

I think webOS is a great technology and I wish them the best.

Do you play a musical instrument?

I play decent drums and bad guitar, just don't ask me to sing.

What was the last book you read?

Being and Nothingness. Sartre. Still trying to make it all the way through... 3rd times a charm, I hope.

Do you get a newspaper delivered to your home?

Only the town weekly. Gotta support the local scene.

Have aliens visited Earth?

Well, they did... but only because they took a wrong exit. When they looked around they got back on the ship and kept going.

What do you think will define the next wave in technology?

Local apps. Developers, globally, building local economies based on local apps.

Like small businesses starting all over again, this time, with apps. Everyone develops, everywhere.