Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SG lesson: Smart for Nokia; less for Microsoft

This event made the headlines yesterday across all media channels. I prefer the report by CNet.

Nokia survives to fight another day by going back to its roots. Its history and heritage is its strength. Putting it another way, Nokia sold of a very big part of itself because its value was declining rapidly. They sold it to Microsoft which in many investors view, and I agree, bought something bad - its shares fell 5%

Microsoft is no longer a leader to be reckoned with. Leadership begins in the mind and character. They are mindless about the future and so can only play follow the leader if they are ordinary but play good catch up if they are very good.

In many ways Singapore had become like Microsoft with SQ as the canary in the coalmine. We mostly play catch up, always at risk of buying less than sterling assets and are self deceived with very few pockets of greatness e.g., water technology. Overall we are very good but not great and we do need to be great to secure our children's future like our parents had ours.

Check: Will Singapore Inc, keep buying Nokias? Mistaking Win-Lose for WIN-win. It must be WIN-WIN or the win has a way of becoming a lose which time will deliver a clear verdict.


  1. Singapore had all the qualities for exceptional achievement bar one. After the first generation we lacked true leadership. Ironically , this is partly the doing of the first generation. Also, for too long, and inspite of all the examples before us, we placed too much emphasis on academic ability. Finally, the leaders ceased to emphatize with the people and moved only within their own circles. They became " us" and the people became " them".

  2. The jokes going around....enjoy