Today (April 24 2014) was the last day of Nokia as we knew it. The staff of Nokia’s Silicon Valley office went to the restaurant down the street and had one last celebration together. We had fun and said our goodbyes.

On April 25, that Nokia ceases to exist, and in its place are two companies that officially have nothing to do with each other: Microsoft Mobile Oy (where the heart of the company will go) and Nokia Oyj (where I will be).

Tomorrow I will still be an employee of Nokia. I will go to my office in Sunnyvale. It will be the same building it was yesterday. It will still say NOKIA on its facade basking in the California sun. But half of the people I’ve worked with will be gone. Up through today we shared everything. Tomorrow we will share nothing but our memories.

I am not writing another piece to lay blame for who is responsible for the decline and fall of this iconic company. I am writing to reflect on what Nokia has meant for the world, and for me.

Of course, the sheer success that Nokia had in its mission of “connecting people” makes it impossible for me or any one person to say what Nokia meant for the world. The story of Nokia is the story of over a billion human beings whose lives were touched, and even transformed, by being connected to anyone, anywhere, for the very first time. It is the story of a small Nordic country transformed into a global technology powerhouse, of a plucky company that achieved what the smartest management consultants had warned them was impossible, and of thousands of individual triumphs of dedicated employees who made breakthrough after dazzling breakthrough in engineering, logistics, design and marketing, only to outdo themselves soon thereafter.

For me, working for Nokia was a wondrous, life-changing experience. Nokia saw potential in me and took me in as a refugee from HP’s webOS debacle. They empowered me to try crazy new ideas that turned into wild successes, and gave me the freedom to help others with theirs. Nokia took me to a dozen countries across four continents, and allowed me to rise from a Developer Community Manager to a Product Marketing Manager to a Product Manager in Nokia CTO’s most ambitious and exciting project. Nokia gave me as much as they could, and in turn I gave them everything I had.

What I had the opportunity to accomplish in less than 3 years at Nokia was incredible. But my story is a short one, and one among thousands of Nokians. I hope others share their stories. They should be told. Not many people can say they worked for a company that had such a great impact on so many people. Thanks to Nokia, I am privileged to be among the few. The “happy few”…

But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here

Henry V, Act IV, Scene iii


The Nokia that we knew ends today, but its impact on the industry and the world will last for years to come.

And the phones it made will last forever.


Literally. Forever.

Nokia, you gave me my first gray hairs, sleepless nights, and countless moments of frustration and anguish as I watched you die and couldn’t save you—and the best, most exciting, most illuminating years of my life as I tried. Damn you. And thank you.


36 thoughts on “THE END

  1. Pingback: Nokia as we knew it ceases to exist today. An employee’s goodbye / thank you | NYC Startup News

  2. Pingback: Nokia as we knew it ceases to exist today. An employee’s goodbye / thank you | My Blog

  3. Pingback: Hasta siempre, Nokia | {tecnologia}

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  5. thanks for those touching words. I live in a village N of Cambridge UK that had a Symbian then a Nokia building, all gone today. And I still have my Nokia phones (cell phone and smartphone).
    “Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son…”
    (same speech further up)

    • ” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
      And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
      Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
      But he’ll remember, with advantages,
      What feats he did that day “

  6. I am moved by your words and totally agree with u that not many people catn say that they worked with a company which connected, moved and excited so many people at a time in the world consistently for so many years.

  7. I am moved by your words and totally agree with you that not many people can say that they worked with a company which connected, moved and excited so many people at a time, consistently for so many years.

  8. very sad. I always used Nokia, started with my mom , and then i bought one, 3310 was Awesome and problematic but i was with him everyday, now i have Nokia N8 and still difficult to leave it. I almost cryed when i knew about the sell, most people don’t know tha Nokia is more than a phone company for us Nokian, but some people just care about money. Sad 😦

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  12. the heart of a company is its people, what they have achieved, and how they achieved it. this one persons message shows us the spirit behind nokia, for which they can – could – be loyally rewarded by the man on the street by buying their products in support of those efforts and ethos.
    by complete contrast, the microsoft corporation has consistently over the past couple of decades hired the best people in the world and bought the best companies in the world not so that their efforts may be put to good use but to prevent other companies from having access to those people. in addition to that, the products that they have released have, by virtue of having access to the amazing technology, been superior or just simply brought out faster to market than anything else… but *only* within the microsoft eco-system. stack the technology levels up one on top of the other ten to twenty layers deep, in inter-dependent but importantly *monopolistic* ways and there is absolutely no way in hell that any other company could even remotely consider joining in or duplicating such efforts without at least a thousand man-years of development effort.
    the U.S. Dept of Justice and the EU Commission simply do not comprehend the enormity of the problem here, but the average person on the street does: they can feel it, and they are fed up – sick to the back teeth in fact – of being forced to buy microsoft, microsoft, microsoft year after year, knowing full well that despite the technical advances in *some* areas the fundamental bedrock is insecure, unstable, and leaves them with the constant nagging worry that their data will be lost, destroyed, stolen, hijacked or ransomed and there is nothing they can do about it…. except to throw away absolutely everything.
    the shareholders who approved this merger between nokia and microsoft simply do not comprehend the enormity of the mistake that has been made, starting with the elop decision to go with microsoft microsoft microsoft. that should have told them everything that they needed to know, but there is something else going on here which the facts tend to point towards.
    so i think the only thing that we can say, really, is that microsoft and its shareholders are about to find out just how badly they have underestimated the back-lash that users can inflict on a company if it is not delivering what people want. microsoft has a hidden agenda, the effects of which are beginning to come to light. people pay money only if the product or service has value to them. except in certain twisted or naive circumstances people *do not* pay money to be abused or taken advantage of. i will be watching events unfold with some interest.

  13. Pingback: Hasta siempre, Nokia | Blog

  14. Good comments. My wife retired from Nokia here in Dallas, just as they were beginning to fold up shop here. She thought it was a great company to work for, but she saw the handwriting on the wall, and so did most others there. The “Nokia Way” made a great working environment, but Finland people had different ideas of what the American market wanted. One example of this was the Finnish Marketer who didn’t like to fly to Dallas for marketing meetings so he had the Marketing office moved to New York and lost most of the experience marketing people who didn’t move, they went to competitors.

  15. your story is mine as well but on a lower scale 🙂 i had the honor and opportunity to work in this company for 3 years as a production supervisor and vice president of nokia free union romania, i will never forget the people and experience gained during this time, i`m disappointed they haven`t choose android , they would have been in top were they belong by this time… nokia spirit and values will never die. good luck in future and don`t lose hope

  16. i belive that microsoft has a lot to learn from nokia`s experience and values and they will, you shouldn`t fill sorry for nokia but for microsoft :)) nokia changed the world and they will change an already great company as microsoft, i`m happy doe i haven`t been bought by other competitors to build fusions or shut down, look o the bright side is still alive and getting better

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  19. This post will be very subjective, as I’m a subject my self!
    I will tell you why I stopped considering Nokia as a handset maker.
    Having owned several Nokia’s, the E66 was the last one for me.
    Before that, I had the E65, the 8850 gold, 3510, 3210 and the 3310.
    Between those, I also had some Ericssons like the 768, 788, 7110, etc.
    I liked both brands, yet where I personally feel that Nokia failed for me, as a customer, is the lack of innovation. The symbian horse was a dead one already in the E65. That dead horse was ridden way too long. Ericsson and Sony in theiere joint wenture Sony Ericsson, went on the Android bandwagon – which turned out to be a blessing.
    Of course Sony had to buy out Ericsson to be able to innovate properly, yet that’s another story all together.
    I know most companies want to make theire own pie and bake it, yet it’s not always a viable way, if one wants to keep ahead. Nokia I feel, became like blackberry – old fashioned. Some select few bought into the Windows phone, yet it’s like stepping a few years back. I dont want to time travel with my phone, it has to have the specs and app selection.
    Stepping into bed with Microsoft was the mistake number 2, which didnt make matters any better. I’m barely keeping Windows on my PC, so of course I dont want that on my phone or tablets 🙂
    If Nokia had done the Android game (and properly), I believe they would be a major player. I dont think they would be as large as Samsung, considering Samsung is a genious when it comes to marketing. Yet Nokia has the build quality that the competitors have had only for a select few years.
    Yet now I feel it’s too late. Nokia feels outdated and there are many premium handset makers now. The brand name might be worth a little, it’s a bit like the kodak moment (I still remember kodak, yet they failed to innovate and where are they now?).
    PS. I bet there were many great and smart people working at Nokia, yet the boat did not head in the right direction. I dont know who is to blame, if it’s the CEO’s, or the strategy, or maybe people just thought that they could keep the strategy that was once a winning one? I for one would like to see Nokia with a proper OS.

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  22. My first three cell phones were Nokia. I was sad when I went to Samsung but it offered what I needed for a reasonable price and Like Nokia, it worked everywhere on all networks. When Samsung introduced Android, I got one and struggled, thinking maybe Nokia will make this easier, and I can get a Nokia. I waited. I am still waiting and now so very sad that this wonderful “family” of brilliant, innovative, creative humans, is gone.
    The spirit will live on, and like the Volkswagen Beetle, maybe sometime, sooner rather than later, they will bring the Nokia back to rise to its former glory.

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