Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Customers Not Included - Ovi, Comes with Music and Knowing Your Limitations

Jason Lackey

The folks over at TelecomTV ran a story about one of Nokia's latest failures, the comes with music debacle. While the Finnish giant had made considerable noise about the service, they found but 691 customers in all of Italy and another 580 in Switzerland. Not very impressive penetration considering that central Europe is Nokia's stomping ground.

Brings to mind a great movie quote from the classic Clint Eastwood flick, Magnum Force where Clint explains "A man's got to know his limitations."

Nokia builds some really good phones. They are well built, solid, quality pieces. They feel good in the hand and for the most part can be easily used with one hand.

Nokia also tries to do services, really really badly. A prime example of this is Ovi, which has been explained to me as an effort schemed up by some sort of finance guy to get the stock price of Nokia up in the stratosphere with software companies instead of down in the hardware ghetto. To be blunt, Ovi sucks. When it was announced with great fanfare and trumpets blazing, I took one of the most popular enterprise smartphones from the Nokia lineup, the E71 (reckon this is probably the pinacle of S60), and visited Ovi. At that time after a bunch of clicking and signing up for various things I eventually got to the point where they told me they didn't have a version for my phone yet.

While it is noble to excel at what you are doing, not everyone is going to be insanely great at everythign they do. Some people are going to suck at some of the things that they try. The solution to that is pretty simple - don't do those things, just concentrate on the things you do well. Very few powerlifters are effective ballerinas, nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't have to watch some hairy bear type prancing around in a tutu. When the brute bear puts on the pink tutu and the dance shoes and tries to pirouette is where dignity goes out the door.

A man's got to know his limitations. Nokia, please get back to basics. Ditch the services, farkles and other nonsense and get back to basics, get back to building great phones.

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