Nokia: We might build our own social network. Rubbish!

You have to wonder what planet Nokia live on sometimes.

There’s some really, really talented people working there.

Trouble is — and I’m definitely not alone in thinking this — the majority of the good people, the REAL smarties, are working at the just-below-director level.

They’re working just below the layer of telecoms management who could probably build you a mobile handset from the contents of your waste paper basket.

But ask them to take feedback — proper decent feedback — from the Nokia geniuses working beneath them…

And no.

No no. Absolutely no.

Don’t you DARE criticise our UI. It’s perfect. It’s one of the best on the planet.

And your mother, Ewan, she’s just STUPID if she can’t learn it. Never mind the fact that she could use the iPhone in 2 seconds.


To the subject.

My good occasional friend Carlo Longino writes at MobHappy. I should qualify ‘good friend’. We meet at CTIA. Those types of events. Carlo and Rafe from All About Symbian will typically sit in the corner at an event and make reasoned judgements about the new handsets and services they’re witnessing first hand. Meanwhile I sit a seat to the left of them and make direct and opinionated ‘THAT’S RUUUUUBBBBISH’ comments and proceed to badger them into agreeing with me.

I think that’s a pretty good summation of our relationship. He’s a nice chap. Just got married recently. His wife’s on twitter too.

Carlo has written a piece about ‘Facebook in Talks With Nokia‘. He refers us to the statement he made back in September about Nokia:

“So, to sum up, if you’re an operator or a handset vendor, don’t try to sell your users on some new social-networking site. Make it easier and better for them to access Facebook, or MySpace, or whatever social site they’re already invested in. Don’t try to sell them on some new IM service that’s closed off to most of their friends; make Skype or AIM or MSN work better on their handset.”

You’re in danger of sounding like a Mobile Industry Review correspondent there, Carlo.

He posts this in reaction to this Wall Street Journal quote:

Nokia is deciding whether it wants to team up with an established Web player like Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., or to build a social network from the ground up, said people familiar with the talks.

… which was written by either a highly uninformed journalist or a huge dollop of some kind of irony.

Show me a Nokia service that is market leading.

Show me a Nokia service that’s second. Or third. Or fourth in the market. You know, one that works and is used by people other than a community of 300 die-hard Nokia fanatics.

Whilst there is something to be said for catering for the lowest common denominator, I am pretty confident that Nokia’s top managerial layer simply couldn’t handle this.

Build a social network?

From the ground up?


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