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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Juha Pinomaa should be good for Suunto

My former colleague and briefly my boss Juha Pinomaa has been selected to be the new CEO of Suunto, the maker of sports wearables and fine navigation instruments.

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.....

10:31 PM in Work | Permalink

Comments

Hi Christian,

I drew some cartoons for you at Reboot... then I gace them to Chris Heathcoate to pass on to you.

Did you receive them?

Good luck with your new adventure, post-Nokia =)

Posted by: hugh macleod at Jun 29, 2005 12:51:03 AM

If not in other sports-categories, then at least in diving-devices Suunto has created a impressive device; impressive technically as well as design-wise: http://www.suuntocampaigns.com/D9/

Posted by: Tuomas Artman at Jul 17, 2005 11:52:50 PM

I just don't have much to say right now, but I guess it doesn't bother me. Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. Nothing notable happening these days. Shrug. Not that it matters. My mind is like a void. I've basically been doing nothing , not that it matters. More or less nothing going on. I guess it doesn't bother me. Not much on my mind.

Posted by: aadvantage airline american program at Aug 30, 2007 10:51:54 AM

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.

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