Killing Nokia. Frank confession of the former president of the company, part three

The story of how they killed Nokia from the inside turned out to be long, but, for my taste, exciting. There are intrigues, undercover fights and moves that you do not expect at all in companies with a worldwide reputation. We continue to consider the chronology of how and with what tools they killed Nokia. For those who missed the first two parts, it's time to start reading from them.

We stopped at February 2011, when Steven Elop, CEO of Nokia, publicly stated that the company had no chance with current products, and the salvation would be cooperation with Microsoft, an attempt to launch joint products in a short time. This caused a natural reaction on the market, Nokia shares went down, the company's employees were outraged and considered this a betrayal of the company. But the cards were dealt, and the game continued.

The cooperation agreement with Microsoft was signed only on April 21, 2011, lawyers were arguing for a long time about the provisions of the agreement, it was a difficult time for Stephen Elop, he had to fight off attacks from all sides. He literally defended his position and his deal with Microsoft every day, obstacles popped up from everywhere. We must give credit that Stephen Elop was able to hold out for two crazy months when the pressure on him was at its maximum.

The ink on the contract did not have time to cool down, when a prepared plan immediately went into action: the company needs to abandon such a number of employees, there are too many of them, they are too expensive. Inside Nokia, a plan was drawn up, which was announced already in May - the company officially announced the dismissal of 7,000 employees (12% of Nokia's staff at that time), and also that several thousand more people would be laid off by the end of 2012. The reason is obvious, all these people who worked on devices and operating systems for future products are not needed, since a different direction of development has been chosen and Microsoft will help with its own resources.

The purge of Nokia started very zealously, Stephen Elop met with workers at the company's factories, convinced that everyone would get a new job. Speaking at the company's headquarters in Salo, he said that he really appreciates the contribution of everyone and expects Meltemi to be a breakthrough. At that moment, he already knew for sure that he would destroy all R&D units that are responsible for developing promising platforms. Nokia created a special team of HR specialists who were supposed to help those laid off in finding employment. At the same time, there was an unspoken rule that employees should be kept from moving to direct competitors, such as Apple or Samsung. There were no effective levers to keep people from such a transition, they were simply tried to be convinced of this. The hiring of former Nokia employees was in full swing, in 2013 they accumulated such a number that Samsung opened a research laboratory in Espoo, most of the employees came there from Nokia. This laboratory did not arise from scratch, since the transfer of Nokia employees was massive, thousands of engineers, developers, and people of other specialties found work in Samsung. Thanks to them, we saw the rise in the quality of Samsung devices in many aspects, at one time the company received personnel that would otherwise take decades to educate, it was a gift of fate.

The first wave of layoffs has swept over Nokia, the spaces filled with people just yesterday have been emptied. Samsung decided to take advantage of the situation and offered to buy out unnecessary divisions, something that Nokia refused. For example, cutting 7,000 employees would have saved $1.47 billion in operating costs, but those people needed to be paid severance pay. The South Korean giant was ready not only to take on all the costs, but also to pay for patents, existing developments in hardware and software. For Nokia, this was already dead weight, but for all this the company could instantly receive billions of dollars, and this solved all financial problems. As far as I know, this proposal was never brought to the board of directors of Nokia, and the very attempt by Samsung to offer something was explained by rumors and nothing more. Samsung's mistake was that the company did not dare to make a public offer, which would certainly have been accepted and it would have been impossible to hide it.

Inside Nokia, huge departments were closed, but after them there were documentation, prototypes, developments that could potentially be used by someone. In the second half of 2011, the Nokia security service received an order to start destroying everything related to MeeGo, Meltemi and a number of other developments. No explanations were given, nor were they needed. Those who worked on these projects have left the company, which means that traces of their work must be destroyed.

Prototype devices were physically destroyed, leaving nothing but an inventory in the company's papers. One of the former employees of Nokia told how it looked in practice. He was one of the last to stay in the department, he got a job in Nokia marketing, so he just moved to another office. Having been responsible for products before, he saw many devices that were already ready for launch on the market, as well as early prototypes. In the department, they were stored on special racks, each project had its own set of devices.

Together with a security officer, they described each of the prototypes, indicated its number, code name. The list turned out to be large, on several sheets of A4. Then all these devices were collected in several buckets, and together they went to the basement floor, where the garbage cans were. One of the tanks was filled with fragments of broken electronics, the process of destruction was simple and straightforward. The telephone was placed on a workbench and immediately beaten on it with a large hammer. The fragments were swept into one heap and unloaded into this container. It took a little more than an hour to destroy the prototypes from one department, then they signed that all the phones were disposed of, the story ended.

My friend is not sentimental, but read what he said: “I went up to the office, went into an empty room and realized that we had just destroyed the work of hundreds of people. Sledgehammer. We created avante-garde, we were the first in many technologies, and in front of my eyes it all shattered into small pieces. For the first time I cried from impotence, it was the moment when I realized that Nokia was destroyed forever. No one is destroying technology that is worth billions and has been in the making for decades. Staying there was unbearable.”

A few days later, he happened upon a security officer who was destroying the prototypes in the cafeteria. They exchanged a couple of phrases, one of them stuck in his memory: “I don’t like it myself - to wave a hammer and break what I had to keep. But only I was entrusted with this, I alone broke everything that you guys created here.

I think that the reason for such a hasty destruction of all Nokia's developments was that the top management of the company was afraid that Samsung would somehow get access to them. These developments were completely useless for Microsoft, they could be useful to both Samsung and other manufacturers, but Nokia decided that this should not happen. Media, specifications and other technical documentation also went under the knife, destroying everything in such a way that there was not the slightest chance of restoring anything.

There are a lot of amazing moments in this secret history of Nokia. For example, engineers who left in 2011-2013 for other companies believed that many of their inventions remained the property of Nokia, they received patents, but in the confusion they were not warned about this. In the process of destroying all traces of development, many developments went under the knife, which were eventually restored in other companies. Many things were "invented" a second time. The barbarous destruction of intellectual property was an act of vandalism, there is no other way to characterize it.

Destruction of Nokia sales - the legendary unfinished Nokia N8

In early 2010, Nokia is preparing to launch Symbian 3 and the first smartphone based on this OS, the Nokia N8. The company's flagship should be the answer to Android, iPhone and Blackberry that everyone expects from the company. The world announcement of this device happened in passing in Spillikins, where I described my impressions of it, but rather of Nokia's strategy, which was deeply flawed.

Killing Nokia. Confessions of a former company president, part three

Top managers of Nokia in 2010 felt relaxed, they could afford anything. Why did they give me prototypes and ask my opinion? The answer lies in the fact that I rarely missed the assessment of the prospects of this or that device. It was mutually beneficial, I got access to information, and it did not impose any restrictions on me. And Nokia could correct the way they presented the models on the market, what they said about them, what kind of wrapping they wrapped them in.

For lack of corpus delicti, a criminal case was not opened, and repeated attempts to reopen it did not lead to anything. I confess that I did not like it when they call me, my relatives and “for your good” offer to meet in order to resolve all issues. It was not Nokia employees who called, but those who presented themselves as law enforcement officers. The answer was always the same - call with a summons, and we will come with a lawyer. My perseverance turned into the fact that they came to my house to talk informally, hinting in plain text that the corpus delicti might appear if I did not go forward. But gradually the situation came to naught, although for several years Nokia spent budgets to discredit my opinion about the company's products. Bots constantly appeared on the forum that reported about my grievances with Nokia, about the fact that you can’t listen to me in this matter and that I am corrupt through and through.In parallel, the agencies that dealt with this negativity offered to resolve the issue peacefully: I forget about the existence of Nokia - they forget about the negative. And everyone lives peacefully. Nokia's official position is unknown to me, since all this negativity was created by someone else, I doubt that written instructions from that time are stored somewhere. But the fact that Nokia tried to drink my blood to the last drop is a fact!

By November 2010, it becomes clear that the new smartphones on Symbian 3 have good sales, Nokia continued to love. The problem was only factory defects, the level of marriage in these models turned out to be prohibitively high, we had a small investigation regarding this.

Before that, we have encountered defects in a number of other Nokia devices and have always helped the company's engineers and shared information. This time the sent letters just returned, I was surprised to learn that our mail domain was blocked inside Nokia. It made me smile, because it reminded me of the fight between David and Goliath, a huge corporation behaved like a little frightened child.

After the release of an article about marriage in Nokia N8/C7, I was not scolded only by the lazy, working for readers and trying to give them information about problems in devices, I received tons of negativity. One of the people who successfully slandered me on social networks and on our forum (or rather, was behind this) admitted: “Old man, you yourself set your side under a volley of all guns, now you are raking to the fullest. Nokia is a brand, and even if they release a phone that won't turn on, people are more likely to believe they're doing something wrong than that it's broken." The strength of the Nokia brand was such that there was no need to argue with it, especially in Russia.

Life teaches people patience, and I learned this lesson, let's give the floor to Risto Siilasmaa, he describes the situation with Nokia N8: “We continued to fight for quality. N8, our Symbian flagship, was a sham. In January, 35.8% of products were returned. In February, 24.6% returned, i.е. every fourth phone was brought back to the store. It is believed that for cheap devices an acceptable percentage of returns is 2%, for expensive ones - from 5 to 10%. This is normal: we give the user a new device, it usually works, and everyone is happy. A share above 10% is already painful, it is expensive, and in addition, after a couple of such replacements, the buyer simply will not contact us next time.

It's nice when my point of view is reinforced by the words of a person from inside Nokia, even if there are ten years between them. This device turned out to be a dummy, it was returned all over the world, and Russia was a happy exception, here the returns did not exceed 10%. And this is again thanks to the love for Nokia, which was irrational and lives in Russia even today.

I tried to tell this story as concisely as possible, but it doesn’t work out, you need to step aside and talk about many events that happened then, and how they happened. This conveys the spirit of the time, allows you to feel the conditions in which the described unfolded.

In the next part (yes, there will be at least one or even two more parts) I will tell you how the first Lumia 800 smartphone was created, why Nokia ignored all the alarm bells and didn’t even know what Microsoft engineers can do, and what they are complete nerds. It will be a very detailed look at what was going on inside Nokia that year. Stay connected!

Killing Nokia. Frank confession of the former president of the company, part three

The story of how they killed Nokia from the inside turned out to be long, but, for my taste, exciting. There are intrigues, undercover fights and moves that you do not expect at all in companies with a worldwide reputation. We continue to consider the chronology of how and with what tools they killed Nokia. For those who missed the first two parts, it's time to start reading from them.

We stopped at February 2011, when Steven Elop, CEO of Nokia, publicly stated that the company had no chance with current products, and the salvation would be cooperation with Microsoft, an attempt to launch joint products in a short time. This caused a natural reaction on the market, Nokia shares went down, the company's employees were outraged and considered this a betrayal of the company. But the cards were dealt, and the game continued.

The purge of Nokia started very zealously, Stephen Elop met with workers at the company's factories, convinced that everyone would get a new job. Speaking at the company's headquarters in Salo, he said that he really appreciates the contribution of everyone and expects Meltemi to be a breakthrough. At that moment, he already knew for sure that he would destroy all R&D units that are responsible for developing promising platforms. Nokia created a special team of HR specialists who were supposed to help those laid off in finding employment. At the same time, there was an unspoken rule that employees should be kept from moving to direct competitors, such as Apple or Samsung. There were no effective levers to keep people from such a transition, they were simply tried to be convinced of this. The hiring of former Nokia employees was in full swing, in 2013 they accumulated such a number that Samsung opened a research laboratory in Espoo, most of the employees came there from Nokia. This laboratory did not arise from scratch, since the transfer of Nokia employees was massive, thousands of engineers, developers, and people of other specialties found work in Samsung. Thanks to them, we saw the rise in the quality of Samsung devices in many aspects, at one time the company received personnel that would otherwise take decades to educate, it was a gift of fate.

The first wave of layoffs has swept over Nokia, the spaces filled with people just yesterday have been emptied. Samsung decided to take advantage of the situation and offered to buy out unnecessary divisions, something that Nokia refused. For example, cutting 7,000 employees would have saved $1.47 billion in operating costs, but those people needed to be paid severance pay. The South Korean giant was ready not only to take on all the costs, but also to pay for patents, existing developments in hardware and software. For Nokia, this was already dead weight, but for all this the company could instantly receive billions of dollars, and this solved all financial problems. As far as I know, this proposal was never brought to the board of directors of Nokia, and the very attempt by Samsung to offer something was explained by rumors and nothing more. Samsung's mistake was that the company did not dare to make a public offer, which would certainly have been accepted and it would have been impossible to hide it.

Inside Nokia, huge departments were closed, but after them there were documentation, prototypes, developments that could potentially be used by someone. In the second half of 2011, the Nokia security service received an order to start destroying everything related to MeeGo, Meltemi and a number of other developments. No explanations were given, nor were they needed. Those who worked on these projects have left the company, which means that traces of their work must be destroyed.

Prototype devices were physically destroyed, leaving nothing but an inventory in the company's papers. One of the former employees of Nokia told how it looked in practice. He was one of the last to stay in the department, he got a job in Nokia marketing, so he just moved to another office. Having been responsible for products before, he saw many devices that were already ready for launch on the market, as well as early prototypes. In the department, they were stored on special racks, each project had its own set of devices.

Together with a security officer, they described each of the prototypes, indicated its number, code name. The list turned out to be large, on several sheets of A4. Then all these devices were collected in several buckets, and together they went to the basement floor, where the garbage cans were. One of the tanks was filled with fragments of broken electronics, the process of destruction was simple and uncomplicated. The telephone was placed on a workbench and immediately beaten on it with a large hammer. The fragments were swept into one heap and unloaded into this container. It took a little more than an hour to destroy the prototypes from one department, then they signed that all the phones were disposed of, the story ended.

My friend is not sentimental, but read what he said: “I went up to the office, went into an empty room and realized that we had just destroyed the work of hundreds of people. Sledgehammer. We created avante-garde, we were the first in many technologies, and in front of my eyes it all shattered into small pieces. For the first time I cried from impotence, it was the moment when I realized that Nokia was destroyed forever. No one is destroying technology that is worth billions and has been in the making for decades. Staying there was unbearable.”

A few days later, he happened upon a security officer who was destroying the prototypes in the cafeteria. They exchanged a couple of phrases, one of them stuck in his memory: “I don’t like it myself - to wave a hammer and break what I had to keep. But only I was entrusted with this, I alone broke everything that you guys created here.

I think that the reason for such a hasty destruction of all Nokia's developments was that the top management of the company was afraid that Samsung would somehow get access to them. These developments were completely useless for Microsoft, they could be useful to both Samsung and other manufacturers, but Nokia decided that this should not happen. Media, specifications and other technical documentation also went under the knife, destroying everything in such a way that there was not the slightest chance of restoring anything.

There are a lot of amazing moments in this secret history of Nokia. For example, engineers who left in 2011-2013 for other companies believed that many of their inventions remained the property of Nokia, they received patents, but in the confusion they were not warned about this. In the process of destroying all traces of development, many developments went under the knife, which were eventually restored in other companies. Many things were "invented" a second time. The barbarous destruction of intellectual property was an act of vandalism, there is no other way to characterize it.

Destruction of Nokia sales - the legendary unfinished Nokia N8

In early 2010, Nokia is preparing to launch Symbian 3 and the first smartphone based on this OS, the Nokia N8. The company's flagship should be the answer to Android, iPhone and Blackberry that everyone expects from the company. The world announcement of this device happened in passing in Spillikins, where I described my impressions of it, but rather of Nokia's strategy, which was deeply flawed.

The smartphone has not yet been announced, I did not attach much importance to this text, inside Nokia knew very well about my thoughts and that this note would appear. Since leaks of devices from Nokia happened all the time, we had an agreement with the Nokia PR service - if I publish photos and some information on unannounced models, I will be excluded from Babies & Kids goods in Uganda communications on these models. Otherwise, we continue to communicate, as always, there are no changes. But Nokia N8 was painful for the company and top management, it was believed that the perception of this smartphone should be five plus, and the first opinion that appeared was impartial. The capitalization of Nokia dropped several billion that day, and the “review” of the unreleased model was replicated around the world.

Killing Nokia. Confessions of a former company president, part three

Fate is whimsical, and one day from a journalist with access to the holy of holies of the company, I suddenly turned into persona non grata. The Nokia blog did not name me, but demanded the return of the "stolen Finnish child", the Russian representative office of the company tried to accuse me of theft and demand the return of the prototype, which I should not have had. Surprisingly, I received the device from one of the top managers of the company with a request to honestly tell me what I think of it. Didn't sneak into the Nokia office under the cover of darkness, pick the locks, or pose as a black cape. By the time the note appeared, I no longer had a prototype, even if I wanted to return something to the company, it was impossible.

Killing Nokia. Confessions of a former company president, part three

Top managers of Nokia in 2010 felt relaxed, they could afford anything. Why did they give me prototypes and ask my opinion? The answer lies in the fact that I rarely missed the assessment of the prospects of this or that device. It was mutually beneficial, I got access to information, and it did not impose any restrictions on me. And Nokia could correct the way they presented the models on the market, what they said about them, what kind of wrapping they wrapped them in.

For lack of corpus delicti, a criminal case was not opened, and repeated attempts to reopen it did not lead to anything. I confess that I did not like it when they call me, my relatives and “for your good” offer to meet in order to resolve all issues. It was not Nokia employees who called, but those who presented themselves as law enforcement officers. The answer was always the same - call with a summons, and we will come with a lawyer. My perseverance turned into the fact that they came to my house to talk informally, hinting in plain text that the corpus delicti might appear if I did not go forward. But gradually the situation came to naught, although for several years Nokia spent budgets to discredit my opinion about the company's products. Bots constantly appeared on the forum that reported about my grievances with Nokia, about the fact that you can’t listen to me in this matter and that I am corrupt through and through.In parallel, the agencies that dealt with this negativity offered to resolve the issue peacefully: I forget about the existence of Nokia - they forget about the negative. And everyone lives peacefully. Nokia's official position is unknown to me, since all this negativity was created by someone else, I doubt that written instructions from that time are stored somewhere. But the fact that Nokia tried to drink my blood to the last drop is a fact!

By November 2010, it becomes clear that the new smartphones on Symbian 3 have good sales, Nokia continued to love. The problem was only factory defects, the level of marriage in these models turned out to be prohibitively high, we had a small investigation regarding this.

Before that, we have encountered defects in a number of other Nokia devices and have always helped the company's engineers and shared information. This time the sent letters just returned, I was surprised to learn that our mail domain was blocked inside Nokia. It made me smile, because it reminded me of the fight between David and Goliath, a huge corporation behaved like a little frightened child.

After the release of an article about marriage in Nokia N8/C7, I was not scolded only by the lazy, working for readers and trying to give them information about problems in devices, I received tons of negativity. One of the people who successfully slandered me on social networks and on our forum (or rather, was behind this) admitted: “Old man, you yourself set your side under a volley of all guns, now you are raking to the fullest. Nokia is a brand, and even if they release a phone that won't turn on, people are more likely to believe they're doing something wrong than that it's broken." The strength of the Nokia brand was such that there was no need to argue with it, especially in Russia.

Life teaches people patience, and I learned this lesson, let's give the floor to Risto Siilasmaa, he describes the situation with Nokia N8: “We continued to fight for quality. N8, our Symbian flagship, was a sham. In January, 35.8% of products were returned. In February, 24.6% returned, i.е. every fourth phone was brought back to the store. It is believed that for cheap devices an acceptable percentage of returns is 2%, for expensive ones - from 5 to 10%. This is normal: we give the user a new device, it usually works, and everyone is happy. A share above 10% is already painful, it is expensive, and in addition, after a couple of such replacements, the buyer simply will not contact us next time.

It's nice when my point of view is reinforced by the words of a person from inside Nokia, even if there are ten years between them. This device turned out to be a dummy, it was returned all over the world, and Russia was a happy exception, here the returns did not exceed 10%. And this is again thanks to the love for Nokia, which was irrational and lives in Russia even today.

I tried to tell this story as concisely as possible, but it doesn’t work out, you need to step aside and talk about many events that happened then, and how they happened. This conveys the spirit of the time, allows you to feel the conditions in which the described unfolded.

In the next part (yes, there will be at least one or even two more parts) I will tell you how the first Lumia 800 smartphone was created, why Nokia ignored all the alarm bells and didn’t even know what Microsoft engineers can do, and what they are complete nerds. It will be a very detailed look at what was going on inside Nokia that year. Stay connected!

Killing Nokia. Frank confession of the former president of the company, part three

The story of how they killed Nokia from the inside turned out to be long, but, for my taste, exciting. There are intrigues, undercover fights and moves that you do not expect at all in companies with a worldwide reputation. We continue to consider the chronology of how and with what tools they killed Nokia. For those who missed the first two parts, it's time to start reading from them.

We stopped at February 2011, when Steven Elop, CEO of Nokia, publicly stated that the company had no chance with current products, and the salvation would be cooperation with Microsoft, an attempt to launch joint products in a short time. This caused a natural reaction on the market, Nokia shares went down, the company's employees were outraged and considered this a betrayal of the company. But the cards were dealt, and the game continued.

The cooperation agreement with Microsoft was signed only on April 21, 2011, lawyers were arguing for a long time about the provisions of the agreement, it was a difficult time for Stephen Elop, he had to fight off attacks from all sides. He literally defended his position and his deal with Microsoft every day, obstacles popped up from everywhere. We must give credit that Stephen Elop was able to hold out for two crazy months when the pressure on him was at its maximum.

The ink on the contract did not have time to cool down, when a prepared plan immediately went into action: the company needs to abandon such a number of employees, there are too many of them, they are too expensive. Inside Nokia, a plan was drawn up, which was announced already in May - the company officially announced the dismissal of 7,000 employees (12% of Nokia's staff at that time), and also that several thousand more people would be laid off by the end of 2012. The reason is obvious, all these people who worked on devices and operating systems for future products are not needed, since a different direction of development has been chosen and Microsoft will help with its own resources.

The purge of Nokia started very zealously, Stephen Elop met with workers at the company's factories, convinced that everyone would get a new job. Speaking at the company's headquarters in Salo, he said that he really appreciates the contribution of everyone and expects Meltemi to be a breakthrough. At that moment, he already knew for sure that he would destroy all R&D units that are responsible for developing promising platforms. Nokia created a special team of HR specialists who were supposed to help those laid off in finding employment. At the same time, there was an unspoken rule that employees should be kept from moving to direct competitors, such as Apple or Samsung. There were no effective levers to keep people from such a transition, they were simply tried to be convinced of this. The hiring of former Nokia employees was in full swing, in 2013 they accumulated such a number that Samsung opened a research laboratory in Espoo, most of the employees came there from Nokia. This laboratory did not arise from scratch, since the transfer of Nokia employees was massive, thousands of engineers, developers, and people of other specialties found work in Samsung. Thanks to them, we saw the rise in the quality of Samsung devices in many aspects, at one time the company received personnel that would otherwise take decades to educate, it was a gift of fate.

The first wave of layoffs has swept over Nokia, the spaces filled with people just yesterday have been emptied. Samsung decided to take advantage of the situation and offered to buy out unnecessary divisions, something that Nokia refused. For example, cutting 7,000 employees would have saved $1.47 billion in operating costs, but those people needed to be paid severance pay. The South Korean giant was ready not only to take on all the costs, but also to pay for patents, existing developments in hardware and software. For Nokia, this was already dead weight, but for all this the company could instantly receive billions of dollars, and this solved all financial problems. As far as I know, this proposal was never brought to the board of directors of Nokia, and the very attempt by Samsung to offer something was explained by rumors and nothing more. Samsung's mistake was that the company did not dare to make a public offer, which would certainly have been accepted and it would have been impossible to hide it.

Inside Nokia, huge departments were closed, but after them there were documentation, prototypes, developments that could potentially be used by someone. In the second half of 2011, the Nokia security service received an order to start destroying everything related to MeeGo, Meltemi and a number of other developments. No explanations were given, nor were they needed. Those who worked on these projects have left the company, which means that traces of their work must be destroyed.

Prototype devices were physically destroyed, leaving nothing but an inventory in the company's papers. One of the former employees of Nokia told how it looked in practice. He was one of the last to stay in the department, he got a job in Nokia marketing, so he just moved to another office. Having been responsible for products before, he saw many devices that were already ready for launch on the market, as well as early prototypes. In the department, they were stored on special racks, each project had its own set of devices.

Together with a security officer, they described each of the prototypes, indicated its number, code name. The list turned out to be large, on several sheets of A4. Then all these devices were collected in several buckets, and together they went to the basement floor, where the garbage cans were. One of the tanks was filled with fragments of broken electronics, the process of destruction was simple and straightforward. The telephone was placed on a workbench and immediately beaten on it with a large hammer. The fragments were swept into one heap and unloaded into this container. It took a little more than an hour to destroy the prototypes from one department, then they signed that all the phones were disposed of, the story ended.

My friend is not sentimental, but read what he said: “I went up to the office, went into an empty room and realized that we had just destroyed the work of hundreds of people. Sledgehammer. We created avante-garde, we were the first in many technologies, and in front of my eyes it all shattered into small pieces. For the first time I cried from impotence, it was the moment when I realized that Nokia was destroyed forever. No one is destroying technology that is worth billions and has been in the making for decades. Staying there was unbearable.”

A few days later, he happened upon a security officer who was destroying the prototypes in the cafeteria. They exchanged a couple of phrases, one of them stuck in his memory: “I don’t like it myself - to wave a hammer and break what I had to keep. But only I was entrusted with this, I alone broke everything that you guys created here.

I think that the reason for such a hasty destruction of all Nokia's developments was that the top management of the company was afraid that Samsung would somehow get access to them. These developments were completely useless for Microsoft, they could be useful to both Samsung and other manufacturers, but Nokia decided that this should not happen. Media, specifications and other technical documentation also went under the knife, destroying everything in such a way that there was not the slightest chance of restoring anything.

There are a lot of amazing moments in this secret history of Nokia. For example, engineers who left in 2011-2013 for other companies believed that many of their inventions remained the property of Nokia, they received patents, but in the confusion they were not warned about this. In the process of destroying all traces of development, many developments went under the knife, which were eventually restored in other companies. Many things were "invented" a second time. The barbarous destruction of intellectual property was an act of vandalism, there is no other way to characterize it.

Destruction of Nokia sales - the legendary unfinished Nokia N8

In early 2010, Nokia is preparing to launch Symbian 3 and the first smartphone based on this OS, the Nokia N8. The company's flagship should be the answer to Android, iPhone and Blackberry that everyone expects from the company. The world announcement of this device happened in passing in Spillikins, where I described my impressions of it, but rather of Nokia's strategy, which was deeply flawed.

The smartphone has not yet been announced, I did not attach much importance to this text, inside Nokia knew very well about my thoughts and that this note would appear. Since leaks of devices from Nokia happened all the time, we had an agreement with the Nokia PR service - if I publish photos and some information on unannounced models, I will be excluded from Babies & Kids goods in Uganda communications on these models. Otherwise, we continue to communicate, as always, there are no changes. But Nokia N8 was painful for the company and top management, it was believed that the perception of this smartphone should be five plus, and the first opinion that appeared was impartial. The capitalization of Nokia dropped several billion that day, and the “review” of the unreleased model was replicated around the world.

Killing Nokia. Confessions of a former company president, part three

Fate is whimsical, and one day from a journalist with access to the holy of holies of the company, I suddenly turned into persona non grata. The Nokia blog did not name me, but demanded the return of the "stolen Finnish child", the Russian representative office of the company tried to accuse me of theft and demand the return of the prototype, which I should not have had. Surprisingly, I received the device from one of the top managers of the company with a request to honestly tell me what I think of it. Didn't sneak into the Nokia office under the cover of darkness, pick the locks, or pose as a black cape. By the time the note appeared, I no longer had a prototype, even if I wanted to return something to the company, it was impossible.

Killing Nokia. Confessions of a former company president, part three

Top managers of Nokia in 2010 felt relaxed, they could afford anything. Why did they give me prototypes and ask my opinion? The answer lies in the fact that I rarely missed the assessment of the prospects of this or that apparatus. It was mutually beneficial, I got access to information, and it did not impose any restrictions on me. And Nokia could correct the way they presented the models on the market, what they said about them, what kind of wrapping they wrapped them in.

For lack of corpus delicti, a criminal case was not opened, and repeated attempts to reopen it did not lead to anything. I confess that I did not like it when they call me, my relatives and “for your good” offer to meet in order to resolve all issues. It was not Nokia employees who called, but those who presented themselves as law enforcement officers. The answer was always the same - call with a summons, and we will come with a lawyer. My perseverance turned into the fact that they came to my house to have an informal talk, hinting in plain text that a corpus delicti might appear if I did not meet halfway. But gradually the situation came to naught, although for several years Nokia spent budgets to discredit my opinion about the company's products. Bots constantly appeared on the forum that reported about my grievances with Nokia, about the fact that you can’t listen to me in this matter and that I am corrupt through and through.In parallel, the agencies that dealt with this negativity offered to resolve the issue peacefully: I forget about the existence of Nokia - they forget about the negative. And everyone lives peacefully. Nokia's official position is unknown to me, since all this negativity was created by someone else, I doubt that written instructions from that time are stored somewhere. But the fact that Nokia tried to drink my blood to the last drop is a fact!

By November 2010, it becomes clear that the new smartphones on Symbian 3 have good sales, Nokia continued to love. The problem was only factory defects, the level of marriage in these models turned out to be prohibitively high, we had a small investigation regarding this.

Before that, we have encountered defects in a number of other Nokia devices and have always helped the company's engineers and shared information. This time the sent letters just returned, I was surprised to learn that our mail domain was blocked inside Nokia. It made me smile, because it reminded me of the fight between David and Goliath, a huge corporation behaved like a little frightened child.

After the release of an article about marriage in Nokia N8/C7, I was not scolded only by the lazy, working for readers and trying to give them information about problems in devices, I received tons of negativity. One of the people who successfully slandered me on social networks and on our forum (or rather, was behind this) admitted: “Old man, you yourself set your side under a volley of all guns, now you are raking to the fullest. Nokia is a brand, and even if they release a phone that won't turn on, people are more likely to believe they're doing something wrong than that it's broken." The strength of the Nokia brand was such that there was no need to argue with it, especially in Russia.

Life teaches people patience, and I learned this lesson, let's give the floor to Risto Siilasmaa, he describes the situation with Nokia N8: “We continued to fight for quality. N8, our Symbian flagship, was a sham. In January, 35.8% of products were returned. In February, 24.6% returned, i.е. every fourth phone was brought back to the store. It is believed that for cheap devices an acceptable percentage of returns is 2%, for expensive ones - from 5 to 10%. This is normal: we give the user a new device, it usually works, and everyone is happy. A share above 10% is already painful, it is expensive, and in addition, after a couple of such replacements, the buyer simply will not contact us next time.

It's nice when my point of view is reinforced by the words of a person from inside Nokia, even if there are ten years between them. This device turned out to be a dummy, it was returned all over the world, and Russia was a happy exception, here the returns did not exceed 10%. And this is again thanks to the love for Nokia, which was irrational and lives in Russia even today.

I tried to tell this story as concisely as possible, but it doesn’t work out, you need to step aside and talk about many events that happened then, and how they happened. This conveys the spirit of the time, allows you to feel the conditions in which the described unfolded.

In the next part (yes, there will be at least one or even two more parts) I will tell you how the first Lumia 800 smartphone was created, why Nokia ignored all the alarm bells and didn’t even know what Microsoft engineers can do, and what they are complete nerds. It will be a very detailed look at what was going on inside Nokia that year. Stay connected!

Killing Nokia. Frank confession of the former president of the company, part three

The story of how they killed Nokia from the inside turned out to be long, but, for my taste, exciting. There are intrigues, undercover fights and moves that you do not expect at all in companies with a worldwide reputation. We continue to consider the chronology of how and with what tools they killed Nokia. For those who missed the first two parts, it's time to start reading from them.

We stopped at February 2011, when Steven Elop, CEO of Nokia, publicly stated that the company had no chance with current products, and the salvation would be cooperation with Microsoft, an attempt to launch joint products in a short time. This caused a natural reaction on the market, Nokia shares went down, the company's employees were outraged and considered this a betrayal of the company. But the cards were dealt, and the game continued.

The cooperation agreement with Microsoft was signed only on April 21, 2011, lawyers were arguing for a long time about the provisions of the agreement, it was a difficult time for Stephen Elop, he had to fight off attacks from all sides. He literally defended his position and deal with Microsoft on a daily basis, obstacles popping up from everywhere. We must give credit that Stephen Elop was able to hold out for two crazy months when the pressure on him was at its maximum.

The ink on the contract did not have time to cool down, when a prepared plan immediately went into action: the company needs to abandon such a number of employees, there are too many of them, they are too expensive. Inside Nokia, a plan was drawn up, which was announced already in May - the company officially announced the dismissal of 7,000 employees (12% of Nokia's staff at that time), and that several thousand more people would be laid off by the end of 2012. The reason is obvious, all these people who worked on devices and operating systems for future products are not needed, since a different direction of development has been chosen and Microsoft will help with its own resources.

The purge of Nokia started very zealously, Stephen Elop met with workers at the company's factories, convinced that everyone would get a new job. Speaking at the company's headquarters in Salo, he said that he really appreciates the contribution of everyone and expects Meltemi to be a breakthrough. At that moment, he already knew for sure that he would destroy all R&D units that are responsible for developing promising platforms. Nokia created a special team of HR specialists who were supposed to help those laid off in finding employment. At the same time, there was an unspoken rule that employees should be kept from moving to direct competitors, such as Apple or Samsung. There were no effective levers to keep people from such a transition, they were simply tried to be convinced of this. The hiring of former Nokia employees was in full swing, in 2013 they accumulated such a number that Samsung opened a research laboratory in Espoo, most of the employees came there from Nokia. This laboratory did not arise from scratch, since the transfer of Nokia employees was massive, thousands of engineers, developers, and people of other specialties found work in Samsung. Thanks to them, we saw the rise in the quality of Samsung devices in many aspects, at one time the company received personnel that would otherwise take decades to educate, it was a gift of fate.

The first wave of layoffs has swept over Nokia, the spaces filled with people just yesterday have been emptied. Samsung decided to take advantage of the situation and offered to buy out unnecessary divisions, something that Nokia refused. For example, cutting 7,000 employees would have saved $1.47 billion in operating costs, but those people needed to be paid severance pay. The South Korean giant was ready not only to take on all the costs, but also to pay for patents, existing developments in hardware and software. For Nokia, this was already dead weight, but for all this the company could instantly receive billions of dollars, and this solved all financial problems. As far as I know, this proposal was never brought to the board of directors of Nokia, and the very attempt by Samsung to offer something was explained by rumors and nothing more. Samsung's mistake was that the company did not dare to make a public offer, which would certainly have been accepted and it would have been impossible to hide it.

Inside Nokia, huge departments were closed, but after them there were documentation, prototypes, developments that could potentially be used by someone. In the second half of 2011, the Nokia security service received an order to start destroying everything related to MeeGo, Meltemi and a number of other developments. No explanations were given, nor were they needed. Those who worked on these projects have left the company, which means that traces of their work must be destroyed.

Prototype devices were physically destroyed, leaving nothing but an inventory in the company's papers. One of the former employees of Nokia told how it looked in practice. He was one of the last to stay in the department, he got a job in Nokia marketing, so he just moved to another office. Having been responsible for products before, he saw many devices that were already ready for launch on the market, as well as early prototypes. In the department, they were stored on special racks, each project had its own set of devices.

Together with a security officer, they described each of the prototypes, indicated its number, code name. The list turned out to be large, on several sheets of A4. Then all these devices were collected in several buckets, and together they went to the basement floor, where the garbage cans were. One of the tanks was filled with fragments of broken electronics, the process of destruction was simple and uncomplicated. The telephone was placed on a workbench and immediately beaten on it with a large hammer. The fragments were swept into one heap and unloaded into this container. It took a little more than an hour to destroy the prototypes from one department, then they signed that all the phones were disposed of, the story ended.

My friend is not sentimental, but read what he said: “I went up to the office, went into an empty room and realized that we had just destroyed the work of hundreds of people. Sledgehammer. We created avante-garde, we were the first in many technologies, and in front of my eyes it all shattered into small pieces. For the first time I cried from impotence, it was the moment when I realized that Nokia was destroyed forever. No one is destroying technology that is worth billions and has been in the making for decades. Staying there was unbearable.”

A few days later, he happened upon a security officer who was destroying the prototypes in the cafeteria. They exchanged a couple of phrases, one of them stuck in his memory: “I don’t like it myself - to wave a hammer and break what I had to keep. But only I was entrusted with this, I alone broke everything that you guys created here.

I think that the reason for such a hasty destruction of all Nokia's developments was that the top management of the company was afraid that Samsung would somehow get access to them. These developments were completely useless for Microsoft, they could be useful to both Samsung and other manufacturers, but Nokia decided that this should not happen. Media, specifications and other technical documentation also went under the knife, destroying everything in such a way that there was not the slightest chance of restoring anything.

There are a lot of amazing moments in this secret history of Nokia. For example, engineers who left in 2011-2013 for other companies believed that many of their inventions remained the property of Nokia, they received patents, but in the confusion they were not warned about this. In the process of destroying all traces of developments, many developments went under the knife, which were eventually restored in other companies. Many things were "invented" a second time. The barbarous destruction of intellectual property was an act of vandalism, there is no other way to characterize it.

Destruction of Nokia sales - the legendary unfinished Nokia N8

In early 2010, Nokia is preparing to launch Symbian 3 and the first smartphone based on this OS, the Nokia N8. The company's flagship should be the answer to Android, iPhone and Blackberry that everyone expects from the company. The world announcement of this device happened in passing in Spillikins, where I described my impressions of it, but rather of Nokia's strategy, which was deeply flawed.

The smartphone has not yet been announced, I did not attach much importance to this text, inside Nokia knew very well about my thoughts and that this note would appear. Since leaks of devices from Nokia happened all the time, we had an agreement with the Nokia PR service - if I publish photos and some information on unannounced models, I will be excluded from Babies & Kids goods in Uganda communications on these models. Otherwise, we continue to communicate, as always, there are no changes. But Nokia N8 was painful for the company and top management, it was believed that the perception of this smartphone should be five plus, and the first opinion that appeared was impartial. The capitalization of Nokia dropped several billion that day, and the “review” of the unreleased model was replicated around the world.

Top managers of Nokia in 2010 felt relaxed, they could afford anything. Why did they give me prototypes and ask my opinion? The answer lies in the fact that I rarely missed the assessment of the prospects of this or that device. It was mutually beneficial, I got access to information, and it did not impose any restrictions on me. And Nokia could correct the way they presented the models on the market, what they said about them, what kind of wrapping they wrapped them in.

For lack of corpus delicti, a criminal case was not opened, and repeated attempts to reopen it did not lead to anything. I confess that I did not like it when they call me, my relatives and “for your good” offer to meet in order to resolve all issues. It was not Nokia employees who called, but those who presented themselves as law enforcement officers. The answer was always the same - call with a summons, and we will come with a lawyer. My perseverance turned into the fact that they came to my house to talk informally, hinting in plain text that the corpus delicti might appear if I did not go forward. But gradually the situation came to naught, although for several years Nokia spent budgets to discredit my opinion about the company's products. Bots constantly appeared on the forum that reported about my grievances with Nokia, about the fact that you can’t listen to me in this matter and that I am corrupt through and through. In parallel, the agencies that dealt with this negativity offered to resolve the issue peacefully: I forget about the existence of Nokia - they forget about the negative. And everyone lives peacefully. Nokia's official position is unknown to me, since all this negativity was created by someone else, I doubt that written instructions from that time are stored somewhere. But the fact that Nokia tried to drink my blood to the last drop is a fact!

By November 2010, it becomes clear that new smartphones based on Symbian 3 have good sales, Nokia continued to love. The problem was only factory defects, the level of marriage in these models turned out to be prohibitively high, we had a small investigation regarding this.

Before that, we encountered defects in a number of other Nokia devices and always helped the company's engineers and shared information. This time the sent letters just returned, I was surprised to learn that our mail domain was blocked inside Nokia. It made me smile, because it reminded me of the fight between David and Goliath, a huge corporation behaved like a little frightened child.

After the release of an article about marriage in Nokia N8/C7, I was not scolded only by the lazy, working for readers and trying to give them information about problems in devices, I received tons of negativity. One of the people who successfully slandered me on social networks and on our forum (or rather, was behind it) admitted: “Old man, you yourself set your side under a volley of all guns, now you are raking to the fullest. Nokia is a brand, and even if they released a phone that wouldn't turn on, people would rather believe that they were doing something wrong than that it was broken." The strength of the Nokia brand was such that there was no need to argue with it, especially in Russia.

Life teaches people patience, and I learned this lesson, let's give the floor to Risto Siilasmaa, he describes the situation with Nokia N8: “We continued to fight for quality. N8, our Symbian flagship, was a sham. In January, 35.8% of products were returned. In February, 24.6% returned, i.е. every fourth phone was brought back to the store. It is believed that for cheap devices an acceptable percentage of returns is 2%, for expensive ones - from 5 to 10%. This is normal: we give the user a new device, it usually works, and everyone is happy. A share above 10% is already painful, it is expensive, and in addition, after a couple of such replacements, the buyer simply will not contact us next time.

It's nice when my point of view is reinforced by the words of a person from inside Nokia, even if there are ten years between them. This device turned out to be a dummy, it was returned all over the world, and Russia was a happy exception, here the returns did not exceed 10%. And this is again thanks to the love for Nokia, which was irrational and lives in Russia even today.

I tried to tell this story as concisely as possible, but it doesn’t work out, you need to step aside and talk about many events that happened then, and how they happened. This conveys the spirit of the time, allows you to feel the conditions in which the described unfolded.

In the next part (yes, there will be at least one or even two more parts) I will tell you how the first Lumia 800 smartphone was created, why Nokia ignored all the alarm bells and didn’t even know what Microsoft engineers can do, and what they are complete nerds. It will be a very detailed look at what was going on inside Nokia that year. Stay connected!