Nokia OpenLab 6 Months Later

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 05:58 AM with 14 comments

It was 6 months ago today that I, along with about 35 others, arrived in Helsinki, Finland for the very first Nokia OpenLab. This 3-day event was a gathering of people from around the world - from musicians to nuclear scientists to photographers to, well, me – who had a passion and interest in how mobile technology can have a positive impact on the future.

If you are a regular reader of The Hot Iron, you will know I have written about OpenLab many times before. It truly was a unique event and I am proud to have attended it. The following video is the official video produced by Nokia of the event, which us attendees first viewed at OpenLab’s conclusion. If you can’t see it in this post you can view the Nokia OpenLab video here.

So what’s happened since? For myself, the biggest change is I have shed my frustration with the Palm brand and am now a loyal Nokia owner, touting the E70 while I determine which model I am going to buy next. The biggest impact for me has been conversations with other attendees. Some are just in passing, following their blogs and tweets. Others I have engaged in more direct conversations, some who I spent a lot of time with when I was there and others who I didn’t, but have made up for it since I left. Even though there were only about 50 people (including Nokia people) it was hard to spend time with everyone. I also had the good fortune to see Steve Lawson and his lovely wife Lobelia when they performed in a house concert in Chicago last December.

In the hectic pace of how our days go, it’s nice to reflect on great experiences. Now back to strategizing and building that future.

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BusinessTechnologyMobile Technology • (14) CommentsPermalink


Is it that long already? Time flies! :D I’m still happy to hear that you liked the event.

Picture of Jussi-Pekka Comment by Jussi-Pekka
on 03/11/09 at 06:44 AM

Hey JP - Yes, it doesn’t seem that long, and I learned a lot that weekend!


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 03/11/09 at 07:19 AM

“Has it been six months already?” was my first reaction too, when I read this! Co-incidentally, I was reminded of all the “ambient/pervasive” computing discussions at OpenLab by the TED video in this blog post from a colleague here at Warwick:

Amazing stuff.

Picture of Steve Rumsby Comment by Steve Rumsby
on 03/11/09 at 07:34 AM

Good to hear from you Steve.  It is interesting how many thoughts and ideas continue to resonate, or even get really loud since then!


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 03/11/09 at 07:45 AM

6 months… wow, seemed like just yesterday that I was leaving the airport.

Regarding the Palm: any thoughts about the Pre?

Picture of Yuhui Comment by Yuhui
on 03/11/09 at 09:41 AM

Hi Yuhui… I know, seems almost like yesterday.

As for the Pre - I am not completely “wowed” by it.  Did they need to create yet another platform?!  Not that PalmOS/GarnetOS would be it, but does the world need another way to do things?  It appears to have a nice form factor, but they have left everything else they have done in the past in the dust… they should have done this a long time ago, and now there is too much to leave behind and neglect.

Now I am waiting to get my hands on an N97, and my choice would be between it and an E71.


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 03/11/09 at 09:49 AM

The Pre is the only thing I’ve seen that rivals an iPhone in what an iPhone does best - usability. Not that I’ve actually seen a Pre, yet, mind you. If it delivers what has been promised it will be an amazing device.

If anyone knows how I can get my hands on a “review copy”, do let me know:-)

Picture of Steve Rumsby Comment by Steve Rumsby
on 03/11/09 at 09:50 AM

I remember someone saying if only we had had another couple days, we could’ve planned Nokia’s entire strategy for the next year. Well, I think that if we all knew what to expect, we wouldn’t have needed another few days to do that.

I, for one, wished I’d known what to expect so that I could’ve scheduled a slew of vid interview with some of the people going. Then again, I imagine working out the timing wouldn’t have been easy…

Picture of CT Moore Comment by CT Moore
on 03/12/09 at 12:30 PM

Agreed CT - a little knowledge would have gone a long way.  Fortunately Roland put together the Wiki so some people - though not all - had some idea what was going on.

They may have to bring all of us back again…!


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 03/12/09 at 12:44 PM

i have a vision for an distributed, self organized mobile open lab 2009:

edit the wiki page and let’s have fun!

Picture of Roland TANGLAO Comment by Roland TANGLAO
on 03/13/09 at 03:07 PM

Hey Roland, as you were the one who brought most everyone together before we got to Helsinki with the wiki, I am off to check it out!


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 03/13/09 at 10:01 PM

Six months! time surely flies. I am happy that I met you all.

Picture of Thejesh GN Comment by Thejesh GN
on 03/21/09 at 01:43 AM

Have you noticed in the video that most of the laptops were Apples? I showed this to my cousin and he jumped on his little road-rage soapbox when he asked, “Did they discuss the development of hands-free devices for cell phone drivers?”  I think he totally missed the point. I see it as an event that actually made it physically possible to join people who are so used to networking online.

Picture of Teresita Comment by Teresita
on 05/21/09 at 04:37 PM

Well Teresita, I think both of you are right!  But of course, getting together is much more important than any brand.  And I would like to see more usable, hands-free devices!


Picture of Mike Maddaloni Comment by Mike Maddaloni
on 05/21/09 at 06:08 PM

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