Fable: The Complacent Company

Seven years before the iPhone launched, a phone manufacturer demo-ed a phone with a colour touchscreen above a single control button.

Seven years before the iPhone launched, a phone manufacturer demo-ed a phone with a colour touchscreen above a single control button.

The phone could locate a restaurant, play games and order goods.

When it was pitched as a future product to management, management decided it was too costly to produce.

In 2007, in a last flash of hubris before nemesis came calling, the company sold 436 million phones. 

But 2007 was also the year of the  iPhone – which destroyed the company’s business.

Moral: Complacency breeds failure

 


Comments

7 comments

  1. You aren’t done yet, in addition, throw in some laziness, a handful of arrogance, a pinch of elitism. Let it simmer over the fires of, corruption, incompetence and debauchery.

    What have you?

    Is that Ericsson cooking? Or perhaps a Nokia of yesterday?

    How long, David, do you reckon it will be before Ericsson will be on the chopping block based on the recent report?

  2. That could well be Duncan, hadn’t thought of that. Those Nokia phones had 4-5 days stand-by battery life. Something that didn’t last a day would probably have appalled the Nokia brass. But they can’t be forgiven for not reacting when the iPhone turned out to be a success.

  3. Bean counters kill a lot of other things too, ExST, hotels where the level of service is reduced, airlines where IT cock-ups increase, insurance companies where denied claims increase and all those companies where you have to wait for ages to have a phone call answered. Eventually people grt pissed off and go elsewhere. Many CEOs have no other competence but cost-cutting.

  4. I wonder if there were other considerations like battery life?

    Nokia were famed for that, so to produce something that wouldn’t last for a week on one charge would have seemed like a big step backwards to their engineers and management.

    Companies often get it wrong when trying to work out what people will put up with. Despite inventing the home VCR Philips developed Laserdisc thinking that due to the poor quality no one would want to watch films from video tape.

  5. Yep, that decision was taken by bean counters. Bean counters always kill tech companies…

  6. Based on annual sales of 400+M. It must be Nokia.

  7. David must be Nokia based on the sales numbers, but equally could have been Palm or Blackberry ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*