Let's try for a moment to put ourselves in his shoes. Edward J. Zander, Ed for friends, is 60 years old. He has led Motorola since 2004, the company that among other things invented the cell phone and that produced the most beautiful processors in the world (together with IBM and Apple) before completely losing the thread and breaking up the division under the name of the Freescale. The company has a market value of $ 41.48 billion and its shares, which were worth $ 58.45 in March 2000, are now worth $ 18.32. He, Ed, also headed Sun Microsystems and earned $ 11 million and $ 853,000 in 774 to sit on Motorola's “hottest” seat. In 2006, Motorola's net profit for the last quarter has a sign negative preceding the red figure of 181 million dollars. There is a problem in the market: the world of mobile telephony has been accelerating dramatically in the past six months. How to solve it? By launching the Motorola Razr clone, the wonder phone that has its time has made a difference, just like the iPod for Apple.
But unlike Apple, which built an ecosystem and platform around the iPod, Motorola basically only cashed in the revenue and earnings of an unexpected success, followed by a whole generation of "cos-cos" phones. And now? With the Motorola Razr2 arriving in the US in July with the role of "beautiful" of the fin house and with the new V8 model that wants to make the "smart" of the situation instead, Motorola plays an important card. A paper that even the Wall Street Journal, historically "friend" of the main US telephone manufacturer opposed to competition from Koreans and Europeans (a bit like the Boeing-Airbus fight, on which the Journal equally deployed) defined with optimism " if nothing else, a transitional telephone ”.
What is it that pushes Motorola to accelerate so madly in the hope of returning to profit if for no other reason? What is the dark evil that is wearing down Ed Zander? Samsung and Nokia are the ones who are making clean slates around the company, of course. But maybe there is more. Just like with Microsoft, Apple bothers you. Consume space. Threaten the image. It wears out the very idea of brand and leadeship. Apple is about to land (now a month away) in the mobile phone market, and Motorola feels in the bones (and Zander even in the eventuality of losing his armchair) that it could be she who took the hit. Because first of all, when Apple enters a market, even if the share remains minimal, it tends to attract the attention of the media and consumers, as is already happening with the iPhone. And to eat the competitors alive, reduced to the rank of producers of scrap metal inelegant.
And then, in these crazy technological markets, where only one spot-on product can make a difference, there is also another subtle fear. Steve Jobs was unusually humble by presenting the iPhone last January in San Francisco. He praised his talents and ability, innovation and originality. But, in the end, on the hypothesis of "eating oneself alive" the market, a very conservative state. To the limit of the modest, which is also unusual for the character. The others then thought about putting the flea in the ear of the rest of the world: journalists, analysts, consumers. What if the iPhone really made a difference, as not even the iPod made it? If only the sky was the limit on sales? If the 100 million in six years of the iPod were bruscolini, in a market that in 2006 touched the billion sold pieces, 100 million of which smart phones, such as that of mobile telephony?
Do you understand why the old Ed in these weeks must have a damned headache, every day, that never gives up?