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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop:『Espoo,我们的平台烧起来了!』

Casper Kao
2011 年 2 月 9 日, 傍晚 08:09

看来 Nokia 真的是已经站在了人生的十字路口。

执行长 Steven Elop 的一封内部备忘录,这几天被几家媒体披露,里头大部分的内容可以说是 Elop 对 Nokia 员工的真情告白,表示对于 Nokia 在中、高阶手机市场节节败退,逐渐被苹果Google 抢食光,同时新兴国家市场中的低阶手机销售,也一步一步被山寨厂逼到死角,整个来看,近乎完全失去市场领导地位的现况感到忧心,因此他也强调 Nokia 必须要『改变它的作为』、因为他们(Nokia 全体上下)『正眼巴巴的看着一个平台烧了起来』。

这一切的内容也让人不得不怀疑,先前消息的似乎真的要实现了,Nokia 采用第三方操作系统在自家手机上的可能性确实不低;除此之外,Elop 身为一个首位非芬兰籍、自 Nokia 以外系统空降的执行长,也许更能够拉动一票高层在未来花更多的时间来探索外面的世界,这封充满爆炸性内容的内部备忘录,或许真的可以视为 Nokia 浴火重生的开端也不一定;以下为一些比较值得大家思量、注意的备忘录内容,跳转后有全文原文,有兴趣的朋友可以仔细阅读一下:
  • "...来自我们对手们的竞争岂是火热而已,一整个是超乎我们想象的在延烧...苹果重新定义了智能型手机市场,并且吸引一票软件开发者到一个封闭,但却是极为强大的手机生态系统,这也迫使整个市场都要做出改变。"
  • "...苹果重写了手机市场的游戏规则,时至今日,他们可以说是拥有了高阶手机的市场。"
  • "...Google 俨然也创造了一股超强的吸力,吸引了一大票手机工业中的创新并成为(Android 系统的)核心。"
  • "...打从第一只 iPhone 在 2007 出货起到今天,我们依然无法生出一个可以在使用者体验能够望其项背的产品;Android 系统问世也不过才短短的两年,却已经在这礼拜(当时)抢走了我们在智能型手机市场的领先地位。这真是太不可思议了!"
  • "...Nokia 拥有不少堪称一流的创新,但却总是无法实时将他们推到市场上;我们曾信心满满的认为 MeeGo 一定能够在高端智能型手机平台胜出,但以这种速度,到了 2011 年底,我们大概也只会有一款 MeeGo 产品在市场上流通。"
  • "...要以 Symbian 为开发平台来赶上消费者日益壮大的需求,显然是越来越困难..."
  • "...我们的竞争对手并非以硬件产品来抢走市占,而是以一套(有竞争力)的手机生态系统..."
  • "...我们过去等于是把汽油倒在自家的平台上;我相信过去我们所缺少的,就是能够整合并且带领公司突破困境的可靠肩膀、领导能力,我们犯了不少错误、错过了太多机会,我们将推展到市场上的速度总是慢半拍;我们在内部可以说是毫无合作。Nokia,我们的平台正起火燃烧着呀!"

Hello there,

There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. Through the smoke and heat, he barely made his way out of the chaos to the platform's edge. When he looked down over the edge, all he could see were the dark, cold, foreboding Atlantic waters.

As the fire approached him, the man had mere seconds to react. He could stand on the platform, and inevitably be consumed by the burning flames. Or, he could plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters. The man was standing upon a "burning platform," and he needed to make a choice.

He decided to jump. It was unexpected. In ordinary circumstances, the man would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times - his platform was on fire. The man survived the fall and the waters. After he was rescued, he noted that a "burning platform" caused a radical change in his behaviour.

We too, are standing on a "burning platform," and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.

Over the past few months, I've shared with you what I've heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I'm going to share what I've learned and what I have come to believe.

I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform.

And, we have more than one explosion - we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

For example, there is intense heat coming from our competitors, more rapidly than we ever expected. Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

In 2008, Apple's market share in the $300+ price range was 25 percent; by 2010 it escalated to 61 percent. They are enjoying a tremendous growth trajectory with a 78 percent earnings growth year over year in Q4 2010. Apple demonstrated that if designed well, consumers would buy a high-priced phone with a great experience and developers would build applications. They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.

And then, there is Android. In about two years, Android created a platform that attracts application developers, service providers and hardware manufacturers. Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry's innovation to its core.

Let's not forget about the low-end price range. In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally - taking share from us in emerging markets.

While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time. At that time, we thought we were making the right decisions; but, with the benefit of hindsight, we now find ourselves years behind.

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.

We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.

At the midrange, we have Symbian. It has proven to be non-competitive in leading markets like North America. Additionally, Symbian is proving to be an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop to meet the continuously expanding consumer requirements, leading to slowness in product development and also creating a disadvantage when we seek to take advantage of new hardware platforms. As a result, if we continue like before, we will get further and further behind, while our competitors advance further and further ahead.

At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, "the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation." They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us.

And the truly perplexing aspect is that we're not even fighting with the right weapons. We are still too often trying to approach each price range on a device-to-device basis.

The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.

This is one of the decisions we need to make. In the meantime, we've lost market share, we've lost mind share and we've lost time.

On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's informed that they will put our A long term and A-1 short term ratings on negative credit watch. This is a similar rating action to the one that Moody's took last week. Basically it means that during the next few weeks they will make an analysis of Nokia, and decide on a possible credit rating downgrade. Why are these credit agencies contemplating these changes? Because they are concerned about our competitiveness.

Consumer preference for Nokia declined worldwide. In the UK, our brand preference has slipped to 20 percent, which is 8 percent lower than last year. That means only 1 out of 5 people in the UK prefer Nokia to other brands. It's also down in the other markets, which are traditionally our strongholds: Russia, Germany, Indonesia, UAE, and on and on and on.

How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved?

This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven't been delivering innovation fast enough. We're not collaborating internally.

Nokia, our platform is burning.


We are working on a path forward -- a path to rebuild our market leadership. When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company. But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future.

The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future. He was able to tell his story. Now, we have a great opportunity to do the same.

Stephen.