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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Strongmen are good

When I think of the word 'strongman' the picture that comes to my mind is of that muscular guy every troop of acrobats has. You know, the guy who is always at the bottom of the shaky human pyramid, carrying all the scrawny guys with dreadlocks. Well political reporters have done the word a huge disservice by associating it with aging dictators who hang on to power for too long. Just think about it a circus strongman supports all the other guys in the troop; his strength is an asset i.e. the stronger he is, the safer his people are. His strength allows them to attempt and perfect bolder and more creative feats. Looked at in this context the so-called political strongmen are the opposite. Their 'strength' is used to bully, stifle creativity and the stronger they are, the less safe we are. What's worse about this breed of strongmen is that they demand that we carry them  instead of the other way around!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is it too late for Nokia

The Finnish giants recent move to appoint a Canadian to head their business has been hailed by many as timely. My concern is that it may be too late. You see the first handset I ever owned was a Nokia 3210 and what appealed to me then was the modern styling. Ok, I couldn't afford the Ericsson T18s, but who could question the 3210's innovative antenna free design. Apart from a brief flirtation with a tiny clam-shell Motorola, my love affair with Nokia continued for the next 6 years or so. A little like what happens in marriage I started to notice that Nokia models kept getting chunkier and chunkier while their rivals got slimmer and lighter. Understandably Nokia's popularity started to wane as people like me strayed from their warm embrace.

What went wrong?