Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Liberate Nokia - Ain't that a bit ambitious?

I've just published this as a curiosity for the time being.  Things have changed this morning.  I may delete it, alter it or put up some sort of follow-up later.


The thing is that as a species every wasted man-hour of effort represents a measurable number of unnecessary untimely deaths.

In prehistory that represented starvation and exposure.  To some extent things are not so bad now but in vast tracts of the world people still die from hunger and disease every few seconds.  And for the want of what?

A few dollars for clean running water, proper sanitation or effective mosquito nets?

How much of these things are available in the third world is directly proportional to the size of the global economy.

The most effective thing we can do to improve the situation is to work together to make that global economy bigger as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So we should dream big.  Really, really big.

What I think I have here is an idea that will transform the world economy.  My real aim is to quadruple the size of the global economy over the next fifteen years.  So I have no intention of wasting any time mucking about building things up from scratch.

When I realized that I didn't want to waste time I started casting about looking for a good opportunity to field test the idea and work out the kinks.  When Nokia sprang to mind I was amazed at just how good a fit it seemed to be to what I had in mind.

There is a certain amount of poetic justice to the idea of course.

If one assumes that the idea of a Hybrid Stock Company is sound then engineering a takeover of Nokia makes a gigantic amount of sense.

Any company that one applied the Hybrid Stock model to would immediately start to perform better and produce more profit but a company that is currently trading vastly below its potential, and historic track record, due to mismanagement, would have a much more dramatic and obvious rebound.  One with discontented Shareholders and whose Market Capitalization was substantially less than the value of its balance sheet ought to be an easy target.

If Tomi Ahonen is to be believed there is nothing bad about the idea of buying Nokia.  The only possible fly in the ointment is the complications of the stupid deal that assigned many of Nokia's best patents to a Canadian patent troll at the behest of Microsoft.  Even if those patents are lost I still think Nokia represents a valuable prize that possesses assets that are of value to just about every player in the mobile space.

Restructuring Nokia also would give me the opportunity to demonstrate other principles that I believe that are important in business and that are at the heart of the current patent wars.

Open source is one of the best methods of managing intellectual property to accelerate innovation we have yet developed as a species.  Closed paradigms are universally damaging to technological advancement.  To what degree that is true is variable ranging from disastrous to merely dreadful.  Greek fire anyone?

I don't think the present patent system makes any sense at all.  Even if the entire process is disclosed in the application any competitor would naturally lag behind the inventor in implementation by so long that the inventor should have little trouble achieving and maintaining a dominant market position.  The only thing the present system seems to achieve is to delay iterative improvements to the original design from other inventors and allow the patent holder to extract monopoly prices for longer than perfect liberty would entitle them to.

I am convinced that the patent system could be used in precisely the same way that the GPL uses the copyright system.  With a large enough pool of good enough patents it ought to be possible to force everyone to surrender their patent 'weapons' and to compete on merit.

As things stand Nokia represents a dreadful threat to the open-development model should the proprietary monopolists get their hands on its assets.  Similarly Nokia threatens the proprietary monopolists in the exact same way which is likely why it was chosen by Microsoft as its latest technology 'partner'.  Should it fail, which seems very likely at the moment the assets are likely to become a thorn in the side of open-development for decades.

Which all means higher prices and less innovation.

Progress requires that Nokia's assets be protected and used to defeat the patent monopolists.


  1. Dude- you come off as a diluted idiot. Good luck raising the billions of dollars to buy Nokia (read your comment over on slashdot). If you had any sort of sense, you would be lobbying the stockholders and the board to not agree to the deal.

  2. What a good idea, why didn't I think of that.

    Got a list of their names and addresses?

    I assume you meant 'deluded idiot'.

    Deluded and idiotic how exactly?

    Specifics would help me become less deluded and idiotic.