Tag Archives: road map

Can Dinosaurs pupate?

A prediction was made about computing devices a long time ago. I think it was around 2005, although this report is dated 2008. Nigel Clifford, then the CEO of Symbian and the supplier of software to Nokia said:

“All of those single use devices – MP3 players, digital camera, GPS – are collapsing onto the phone.”

Basically, Symbian and Nokia both thought that the Smart phone was so good that there would be a convergence of mobile devices into the one form factor. Naturally this was the form factor that Nokia was selling. Here’s another quote from that story from the BBC:

“Converged devices are always with you and always connected,”

That was Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, then CEO of Nokia. Neither Nigel, nor Olli-Pekka now lead those companies, Symbian has gone and Nokia will become a device brand name for Microsoft, which at that time in history was Nokia’s worst nightmare.

So, is the future diverged devices? You’d think people who run these large companies born from the start of the microcomputer boom (early 1970s) would learn.

Here’s another, more recent, quote:

“The world in the next five years and 10 years is not going to be defined by the form factor we know and love today, but by the variety of form factors that will come to be over the coming years,”

This time it’s from Satya Nadella, currently CEO of Microsoft, speaking at the launch of Office for iPad. So, in nine years some of the big companies have noticed that the earlier predictions were wrong.

Sadly it’s still a behemoth thinking they know the way that things will go.  This is the company that had it all once and missed so many changes, including the kick to the internet given to it by the World Wide Web.

It’s not that there aren’t good predictions around. Symbian, Nokia and Microsoft all had people with good, realistic visions.

Realistic predictions are based on the reaction of humans (and cats) to technological change. Companies get it wrong when they predict that the changes will be as a result of their company road map.