Thursday, June 30, 2005
Restaurant Lehtovaara in the press
It is really great that Finland has its first blog based general interest case. It will contribute to the freedom of speech fight going on regarding blogs.
Ravintola Lehtovaara, is an old restaurant institution in Helsinki which has sued Herkko Hietanen for his post on an experience he had there some time ago. This story is getting lots of attention on the net at the moment.
I blog about many restaurants and several of them rank high in Google because of me, for example Maxill and Raku-Ya both first. My hobby is to write about food and restaurants I experience, so this case is thus very close to my hearth.
I have often though about writing a negative piece on something where things have gone wrong or where the experience has not been up to standard. For some reason I have not trashed any restaurant in any serious way. I guess I have felt that I command too much power in certain sense. On the other hand restaurants really ruin people's feelings. I am a bit torn.
It is out of pure coincidence that Lehotvaara became the restaurant to have this hand granade explode. What makes it amuzing is that I have visited the same restaurant several times, and I have two very memories of things going wrong in this place. The first time was probably 15-20 years ago. I was there with my parents and had a pepper steak, which came with potatoe croquettes, at that time I just learnt what they were as some local company started to produce ready made frozen ones. What I realised when I got the my pepper steak was that they were served with these ready made ones. I felt cheated. One gets that at a burger joint, but not at a nice fancy restaurant, and 15-20 years ago it was even more fancy than now. The other sour experience was maybe 10 years ago, when I wanted a light desert and I asked that if they had some sherbet, it was not on the menu. But they promised to see what they could do. When it came out they served a ball of cruched ice flavoured with orange juice and called it sherbet. The experience was terrible. I felt cheated, but I had ordered something out of the menu, they delivered. It felt like, 'you demanding bastard, I'll teach you a lesson about not ordering outside the menu'. For some amazing reason these two experience have stayed in my memory for such a long time, 10 versus 20 years.
With that told, my sympaties are with Herkko in this case, but this is after all not really about who was right or wrong, but about freedom of speech. Here I am of the opinion that one should have freedom of speech, it is up to the reader to judge if one wants to trust the source or not.
In my restaurant reviews I speak for myself, and if you do not agree with my reviews, make comments, challenge or just ignore me.
Good luck Herkko, you are my man!
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Juha Pinomaa should be good for Suunto
I have been following the company for some time and particularly their wearable products, I am not sure their strategy of going after different sports is a great one, as there is too little synergy to platformize the offerings.
I think Juha could be a breath of fresh air at Suunto. He is a very smart guy and a hard worker. I think his key strenghts are in marketing, branding and creating good processes. I think he might have the discipline needed to grow the company. Where he could need some help is in product creation and design. He is not in my mind the 'product maker', but those he can hire to his team.
My problem with wearables and particularly the Suunto ones, which I have worn on my wrist from February 2001 until spring of this year when I switched to rival Polar, is their usability. They have no overall UI logic as they overload each button in each state of the UI, making the total experience a mess. Do less better is my simple advice. I still make mistakes when setting alarms, adjusting dual times or other simple tasks like that. I know, I am embarrassed to admit it. The GPS and using it for navigation is hampered by the fact that the battery only last about 4h. As a cruising sailor I sail between 5-10h days depending whether kids are on board or not....
I am not to optimistic that the 'Up - Down-Yes-No' paradigm, know from phones is functioning in a wearable. It gets to hierarchical and as the buttons are too small and not ergonomic enough to press frequently. It makes the whole experience is very techie. Some general leap of innovation is needed in this domain, longterm I think wearable will be on the wrist.
Whether Juha will succeed or fail in his new job is largely dependent on the new generation they have in their pipeline. Maybe something including this. If that generation is good, he has a chance to succeed, if it is not I am more prone to think he will fail. When a small company does two generations of failed products it puts them out of business. I hope they learned from their mistake with the current generation, but sofar their latest products have at least not trilled me, I just do not think the styling is good enough. OK I might be hard to please. I am always willing to revise my view.
Looking forward to the next stage in this wonderful saga...Very best of luck Juha.....
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Borgström Konst & Antik is becoming the most interesting antique shop in Finland
My friend Joachim "Bamse" Borgström just moved his antique shop to Korkeanvuorenkatu, very close to where I live. This is great news as I now can pop in and check what is new and have a chat about art and antiques. It is also in my opinion at the best location in town. Bamse is a unique character. He is in his early thirties and has been in the antique 'business' more than 10 years. He is already a renounded expert on Finnish and Russian silver. He was the Vice President of the most famous auction house Bokowski-Hörhammar, here he learned alot about high quality stuff. He has a sharp eye for good stuff and searches for stuff with lasting value and a touché of humour. He showed me a cigar train he recently found. At the moment he has found an interest in sculptures, something he feels is not properly valued, as so much beautiful is being sold at very resonable prices. What I liked most were the two 17th century Dutch paintings he bought and recently renovated - Stunning. I would have bought both, but I looked in my wallet and there was 40 Euro... ;-)
Friday, June 10, 2005
The demo of the 20th century by Doug Engelbart
Doug Engelbart does a demo of the time sharing system. How would one use a computer at the desk every day at work. The demo of the century, showing for example the mouse in 1968.
When I look at the future predictions from the past I am almost always surprised that we made more progress in less time than predicted. Demos are different than science fiction as they are always hostages of our current minds trapped by our knowledge, not liberated by our imagination.
We overestimate the short term impact of things and underestimate the longterm impact of things. Just think of Internet 10 years ago! or the mobile phone. In 1996 I could not imagine that in 2004 a significant of all mobile phones sold would contain a camera, or that Nokia for example would be the worlds largest camera manufacturer.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Giving a keynote at Reboot7 in Copenhagen
I was trilled to be invited to Reboot7 by Thomas Madsen-Mygdal to give a keynote talk. Copenhagen in June, it just doesn't get much better. It was fun to meet Thomas via e-mail, he was quite surprised to learn that I am Danish, so one could not accuse him of favouring Danes.
I will speak on Saturday morning. My talk will be a coctail of Mobile devices and their future, Multi-platform experiences, using Lifeblog as a case. I will demo some little features in Lifeblog that I am excited about which will lead me to the last part of my talk about a sort of data architecture I see emerging having personal data at the core.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Pontus by the sea. The restaurant is the place for a great lunch.
Sashimi Scandinavian style. Lighty salted and served with new potatoes in cream and dill sauce. A great evolution to a classic dish.
Pontus Frithiof has expanded from the green house to the sea and even into take away. The laid back atmosphere was the perfect setting for a summer lunch. I really enjoyed the salmon which was prepared or should I say unprepared sashimi style. Only light salt and served with Dill potatoes. I really enjoyed it. It was such a nice interpretation of a classic Scandinavian dish. I started with Asparagus with Hollandaise and finished with some rhubarb with vanilla ice cream and roasted bread crums. The others had the pepper steak which was generous in size.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Got a new backup disk
Charlie was kind enough to pick a new external hard disk for me when visiting the US last week. I wanted a quality drive and settled for the Seagate 2.5" 100GB external USB2 drive. I like the convenience of mobility. To date I have had one back up of Lifeblog on my iPod Photo and with over 12000 items, I thought I add another drive, just in case. During summer I plan to do a summer clean on my Mac and add one there aswell. To my surprise the styling is quite similar to the Nokia N90 and from that I got the inspiration for this little post. Follow my advice: Remember to make regular backups ;-)
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
As Nokia Lifeblog transfers from Nokia Ventures Organization to Multimedia Business Group it is time for me to look for the next big thing.
It is a day with mixed feelings; on the one hand I am really happy and proud that Lifeblog is becoming a core component in all Nokia Nseries devices. It is a major milestone for a venture to become deeply integrated into the core of a business group and get the scaling benefits. Lifeblog has completed all the venturing milestones and has reached a venturing goal of creating new and innovative solutions, which will help to renew Nokia.
What makes me sad is that I will not follow Lifeblog team to their new home. The team has been the best part of the journey. You have worked so hard shaping the vision, designing and engineering, promoting Lifeblog inside and outside of Nokia. I am so proud of you all; I really enjoy working with you. I am sure you will make your new ‘owners’ equally proud. In the past I have always left innovations dear to me. I think that is the best way for the innovations and for me. I firmly adhere to the theory that each phase in the product lifecycle needs a unique style of management and my way of managing works best in the early phase with lots of chaos and uncertainty, where the task is to define something out of nothing. A phase characterized by leadership more than management. In the Multimedia group there are well defined management and marketing structures in which Lifeblog will fit, ready to scale the solution as soon as the Nseries devices starts shipping. I am of better use somewhere else.
I am looking forward to a long summer break. Six great weeks of holiday, two weeks bonus after being 10 years with Nokia and 4 weeks of normal vacation provides a perfect transition from Lifeblog to the next thing. During the summer I will think of what to do next. I am not in a rush away from Nokia, a company very very dear to me. It is one of the greatest companies to work for; the people are extremely smart, there are lots of opportunities ahead. I am excited what is going on in the company. On the other hand I think it is good to stop for a moment, look around with open eyes. With my wife Nina we have even agreed that we can move anywhere in the world, so if you know of something very cool, let me know!
Speaking about Moble Life in 2015
This week I will deliver a visionary talk about Mobile Life in 2015 at Information today in Paris. It will be fun to share some thought on the future. 10 years is a very good timeframe as 10 years is long enough for some real disruptions, and yet one does not have to go into science fiction to make some interesting predictions.
I will structure the talk around three core components: The Human, The Technology and The Context. In the junction of these new stuff emerge and by looking at things that will change and remain constant it should be possible to make some sensible predictions about the future.
I will discuss devices I see emerging, and why I see them emerging. I will touch on topics such as personal data and the role of metadata and superdata, a term I coined to describe connected metadata or private data. I will also discuss collaboration, sharing issues, which I think will be equally important in the future as in the past.
The past year I have mostly talked about Lifeblog and personal content, so this will be refreshing for me, I hope the audience will be awake, my keynote is just after lunch on Thursday.