This Is What Corporate Stupidity Looks Like

Stephen Elop’s Nokia Adventure

In one of his first meetings with employees, Elop recalls, he complained that there were different keystrokes required to mark an e-mail unread on the various Nokia phones he used. When an engineer in the crowd stood up and said Elop was wrong, the CEO invited him on stage to prove it. After some tapping, the engineer sheepishly backed off. “You’re right,” he admitted.

No one looking at everything. No one to ensure consistency. No one to overrule any group going rogue. No one taking a stand. No one there to make the final decision. No goddammed courage to say, This is just wrong! Fix it!

Little things like that combine to undermine the continued existence of every company. Customers learn one way and they want it to stay that way. The only time you can change something is when it is truly easier and apparent. As Apple did with scrolling through screens with a finger flick versus the decades-old paradigm of scroll bars and styluses.

Why the hell doesn’t every company have someone with brains and authority called the Chief Consistency Officer? Not to ossify things, but to coordinate everything so the best — and unified — face is presented in all products?

By the way, if you’re reading this and work at Apple, don’t laugh at Nokia. What is that piece of shit you have called iTunes?

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