[maemo-users] Decision-making processes (was: Re: bluetooth keyboards and N900

From: Peter Flynn peter.flynn at mars.ucc.ie
Date: Wed Dec 2 02:45:18 EET 2009
Igor.Stoppa at nokia.com wrote:
>> Yeah, I guess you don't consider market statistics that Nokia is
>> continually losing share to be "facts", because they don't fit with
>> your fanboy views.
> In case you had not realized it yet (hint: read my email address) i'm
> not a fanboy, i'm just an employee.
> And market statistics are irrelevant here. You don't have a clue when
> you attribute decisions to developers and _this_ is a fact, because
> you are not part with our internal processes.

I think that was part of the OP's problem.

Nokia is a commercial enterprise. It doesn't have to share its decisions 
or their process with anyone outside. That's their right to decide.

The problem seems to be that while some decisions are self-evident, 
obvious, and uncontentious (eg "let's give the N7*/8*/9* series wireless 
capability"), a few of them are so spectacularly wrong that the user 
community is amazed, and because no information is available about the 
reasoning process, they can only conclude that someone in Nokia was 
missing a vital piece of information.

Because the decision process is internal, there is no information about 
*why* decision X was made one way or another. This can be solved by a 
simple explanation where possible (eg "we no longer support PC-105 
because the future lies with Dvorak"). This would avoid us wasting time 
with these complaints about the decisions and allow us to correct the 
misconceptions for the future.

If Nokia wishes to create a product that is only suitable for a very 
small number of people, that is their absolute right. Microsoft has been 
doing it for years :-) but their marketing has persuaded people that it 
is suitable for everyone...

>> Just to make it clear that when I said "developers" I was referring
>> to those paid by Nokia, not the volunteers.
> Again, where did you get that Nokia developers decide about product
> features?

The OP lacks information about Nokia's development process. Some 
companies *do* entrust product features to the developers, who fight to 
keep them over the ones requested by marketing. In other companies it is 
the other way round: developers are compelled to include features 
requested by marketing, who fight to keep them over the ones suggested 
by the developers. In more enlightened companies, it is a mix.

I have no idea where Nokia fits in the spectrum, but this could be 
answered simply by an explanation from Nokia of how their development 
process works, if they feel that sharing this information with the user 
community would be beneficial.

>> Nokia is the one who is taking advantage of people who desperately
>> want the open source community to grow and repeatedly ripping them
>> off, both volunteer developers and consumers.
> This is your opinion, which is, as usual, totally irrelevant to
> previous my comment: "you don't have a clue about Nokia internal
> processes"

Nokia -- I hope -- is trying to make money from selling the N7*/8*/9* 
products in which the bulk of the OS and app development comes from the 
FOSS community. I want to see Nokia sell lots of these, successfully, 
and make a big profit that they can put back into R&D.

(Unfortunately, I also believe that their marketing people have 
misunderstood the market very seriously indeed, and that the retail cost 
of the devices is therefore incorrectly pitched approximately 2-3 times 
what it need be, if they had targeted the devices more accurately; but 
that's just a personal belief, based only on 30 years of using handheld 
computers :-)

Thank you, Igor, for bringing some sanity to the argument. If you can 
persuade someone from Nokia marketing to listen to the user community, 
it would place the company several years ahead of the competition.

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