What does Nokia’s ‘Burning Platform’ mean?

Posted on February 10, 2011 by


By now I expect you have read somewhere the leaked memo from Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop? What does this mean to mobile recruiting?

If you have not then Elop starts the memo with a story about a man on an oil platform in the North Sea, which is on fire. The man has a choice to jump off a ‘Burning Platform’ in to the foreboding Atlantic waves.  The man chooses do something unexpected and plunges into the icy water.

The next section of the memo describes changes to the smart phone market since 2007 when iPhone first shipped. He shares the looming credit downgrade for Nokia. He clarifies that battle of devices is now a war of ecosystems which include developers, applications, e-commerce, advertising, search, social, location and more.

Near the end he explicitly states “Nokia, our platform is burning”. The new Nokia strategy will be shared on Feb 11 – tomorrow (Thursday). The closing statement speaks of great opportunity to shift behaviour.

The technology and business press has enjoyed this memo and you can read many insights and crystal ball style articles, heres a few….






So with one day to go until the strategy is shared, I don’t see any point in guessing what direction it may be? Will they adopt Android, will they return to their 1865 roots and make paper? The fact is unless they are going to join forces with an existing smart phone OS player, eg Google, Microsoft, Apple or even Palm it wont make any difference to the market place.

Today, if I am targeting US or European mobile internet users I can offer a mobile website and/or a mobile app. If I target Android and iPhone with an App I reach more than 70% of the active users. I would not waste my time with a Nokia app in these markets. This memo strengthens what we already knew.

If Nokia join forces with an existing eco-system which is well accepted by active user we could see a real change in the market shares. If they announce a new system it will be of little real difference.

But looking at their history they may scrap the mobile and make web connected fridges instead! 🙂