Just a quick post about an article by The Register’s Andrew Orlowski I just read over lunch, Why Nokia failed. The article is partly based on a post by Mark Wilcox entitled What happened to Nokia? last month. A quote from Andrew after the jump that I think says it all.
Qt was supposed to unify development for Nokia devices, so source code should only be written once. But without adequate management, Nokia’s engineers had gone off and created two incompatible UI APIs. Nokia was losing this vital source compatibility.
With management unaware of the implications, Nokia continued to support the two parallel UI projects. But “both teams had built the wrong thing”, as Wilcox describes it. Loyal Nokia developers couldn’t believe that Nokia was making the same mistake of fragmenting its APIs once again.
Orlowski is really merciless here, as he should be. But in doing so, he is only echoing the insightful criticisms of the many developers like Mark Wilcox who over the years had endured Nokia mismanagement and had the scars to prove it.
At what point do we require multi-millionaire executives of multi-billion dollar technology companies to be “aware” of the implications of the decisions they make, or fail to make? A question well worth considering, I think.