20 years ago, I joined the skyrocketing Team Nokia and a group of the brightest minds and talent in emerging technologies. During my years in Nokia, I developed myself both personally and professionally, made lifelong memories and worked with many awesome people.
Being a part of Team Nokia allowed me to dive deep into the exciting world of the most advanced mobile services of the 2000s, such as Club Nokia, the birth of mobile gaming by N-Gage evolution, Mobile TV pilots, Nseries business devices and Nokia (Ovi) Store, just to mention some of the best known services and brands.
Running Nokia Store (Ovi) payment engine service taught me everything about service management and eBusiness, performing 17 million downloads per day, operator billing provided by 145 teleoperators in 190+ countries globally and 90% customized in the local language.
Those were crazy days, teams from Sydney to San Francisco were busy creating the very services that are now the bread and butter of the smart phone in your pocket. We saw the highest success in 2008 by selling 468 million devices that year. However, what we did not see coming was the new game innovated by Apple and Android. In 5 years, Nokia’s story of relentless growth and success was over, regardless of 300+ million low price phones sold during the final year. The last Made in Finland Nokia phones were the Lumia 800 and the N9, manufactured in 2012.
Many books have been written on Nokia’s demise, burning platform, shift to Microsoft and Lumia Windows technology, complete ramp-down, the rebirth of Nokia mobile brand by HMD in 2016, and finally a number of successful start-ups. This is a story that will always remain a remarkable chapter in the grand history of mobile technologies.
My all-time favorite Nokia products? The N-Gage and the Nokia tablets. In 2003, N-Gage was ahead of its time in many ways, despite some poor design features and a big price tag. Nokia Linux tablets published 2007-2008 were the forerunners of all today’s tablets.
Nokia’s story reminds us that technology is only as good as the services supporting it, and that technology is only useful when people make use of it. Yet, over the course of its golden years, Team Nokia truly changed the world, the way we communicate and behave nowadays. It is safe to say that Nokia is one of the most important businesses the world has ever seen.
By the way, the Turku City Theatre https://teatteri.turku.fi/en in Finland is launching a play on Nokia’s story on the November 25th, 2020. I am eager to see it.