Burning Memories

Article from Issue 140/2012

A little over a year ago, I wrote a column about a Nokia memo that appeared a little over a year ago. The famous “Burning Platform” memo made the case for Nokia bailing out of the open source MeeGo project as a last-ditch effort to save the company.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s vivid metaphor of fire and desperation won rave reviews for its originality and the style, but as I pointed out last year, style is a cart that all too often leads the horse. Just because someone expresses himself well doesn’t mean he is correct. A carefully crafted metaphorical framework can sometimes point toward a conclusion that seems very elegant and obvious within the metaphor, but if you step outside the metaphor, you get a very different view.

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