Possibly the Mother Of All Pivots, Nokia started out life in the late 19th century as a wood pulp mill, before expanding over the next one hundred years into the business of rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation.
However, it was the early 1980s, with the establishment of the GSM standard, that Nokia set off on a journey that would see it make its biggest pivot and subsequent dent in history, almost single-handedly helping usher in the modern mobile phone as we know it.
By the mid-90s it had divulged of all non-telecommunications activities, including paper, PC, rubber, footwear, chemicals, power plant, cable, aluminum and television businesses, to establish itself as the world leader in mobile phones, a position the company enjoyed for more than a decade.
But with a deluge of new competition, epitomised by Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone on June 29, 2007, Nokia was caught complacent and wanting, eventually exiting the handset business entirely with the sale of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft in April this year.
Today the company’s focus is networking, maps and technology R&D. The latter, of course, points to another possible pivot in the making. Nokia is dead. Long live Nokia.