I think the lesson of Nokia's decline is pretty simple: "Don't hire an ex-Microsoft executive to run your company". Nokia probably had a winner with Meego. The Nokia N9 (never made available in the USA) had excellent reviews and won awards. Stephen Elop made sure it was the only Meego device, and insisted Nokia switch to Windows Phones.
I'm very impressed by the Samsung LCD TV I got for my parents. The capabilities -- largely embedded in the software -- are quite vast, and the user interface is quite intuitive. For example, I can plug a Flash Drive into the back and the TV will automatically find the cute cat and kitten photos and videos, and I can show them to my techno-phobic parents. They still have some dial phones. Here's a link for readers under 30.
Here's the thing: the TV has an embedded computer and embedded software. The better the software, the less noticable it is. It software is primitive and limited in capability, you notice it. If the software has been carefully engineered to have good default behavior and carefully implemented so that it doesn't crash, you don't notice that the software is there. Everything "just works".
@betajet, yes, you are right. But my feeling is that the trouble at Nokia started even a few years before the company hired Elop. So much money and time was poured into the development of various software assets, but the company was never able to come to one strong coherent conclusion, in my opinion. Their software work was spread too wide without much focus.
The gist of the article is that Samsung has achieved a dominant position by being a "fast follower": identify a market, work very hard to create products better than the what others are doing, and become the dominant player in that market. According to the article, Samsung is now in a leadership position where it has the unfamiliar job of figuring out which way to go next -- it's run out of technologies to follow.
Learn form big company rise and fall, the Hi-tech company should come out new idea every few years. Like Google, it starts with search engine, Google map to Android OS. No Hi-tech company can be follower forever, it can grow only through crazy innovation.
Here's the thing: the TV has an embedded computer and embedded software. The better the software, the less noticable it is.
Well put. I agree. The more unintrusive and invisible the software is, the better the usability of a TV becomes.
That said, I am not quite sure if TV is a good example. TV isn't exactly a kind of product that software can play a key role in differentiating itself. In other words, TV "pops" when its display technology shines.
But when it comes to products like a smartphone, wearables or any other "connected" data-driven devices, they can be more differentiated when they come with interesting software.
@_hm, really? Automotive electronics is notoriously cost-driven and medical electronics demands a lengathy approval process. Neither strikes me as promising for a big company like Samsung to carry itself into the next decade.