I imagine this will have been obvious for quite some time now to most anyone who cares, but as of the end of this month I’ll no longer be working at Nokia.
Despite the brave, concerted efforts of a great many highly talented people, my two years at Nokia House have been very, very difficult — so difficult, indeed, that it’s become hard for me to reconstruct now the bases of the optimism with which I began the adventure.
I haven’t quite decided whether I’m going to write up a comprehensive post-mortem, or just let things be and move on. As the alert might have inferred from yesterday’s piece on App Inventor, I’ve been thinking a good deal lately about Doug Bowman’s farewell to Google, and whether or not anything constructive came in the aftermath of that. It’s hard for me to tell, amidst the sound and fury the piece generated in the relevant circles, whether Google or, indeed, Doug himself learned anything useful from the controversy, and that’s going to be my threshold in deciding whether or not I have anything public to say about my experience.
I do think there are useful things I might say about Nokia, and how it might address the situation in which it now finds itself, but I’m far from convinced that anything I say would make any difference at all. Above all, what I fear is that anything I write would be counterproductive for my friends who remain inside, fighting the good fight. And, to be honest, the perception that my motivations in writing would be self-serving or self-exculpatory.
For now, let me just say that far and away the best part of working at Nokia has been the opportunity to meet and work alongside literally dozens of brilliant, beautiful, funny, super-capable people — so very many that I daren’t start listing names in an attempt to be comprehensive, lest I overlook someone awesome. It’s weak sauce to say so, but you know who you are…and I only hope you know how much I appreciate and admire you all.
Nurri and I have our hands full over the next few months, wrangling an intercontinental move, getting some travel in, and cooking up new Do projects goodness for you. There are also some other things I’m working on that I suspect you’ll be very, very interested to hear about. More about all of that in due season.
The thought I want to leave you with is that for all the disappointment I feel when I consider the missed opportunities of these last two years, I actually have no regrets. I’ve learned some very valuable lessons about my own personal strengths and weaknesses, how and how not to organize efforts so they have a chance of success. And hey: we got to live in Helsinki for two glorious summers, made a ton of amazing friends, and enjoyed some experiences we never would have had we stayed in New York. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with any of that. Now: we throttle up and prepare for Go.
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- An index, 2017 4 March 2017
- Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, now available for pre-order 9 December 2016
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