Zander No Moto: The RAZR King Steps Down

Zander No Moto: The RAZR King Steps Down

Ed Zander—the celebrity CEO who made Motorola's RAZR an Apple-like sensation then somehow spoiled it with all them spinoffs—will step down on Jan. 1. Does this mean we won't get the POOPR, the SHTR or the TFSU? Does this mean that Motorola might recover from its slip to third place in the world cell phone sales? I know I've asked this before, but would the RAZR2 be a cooler phone if it was named something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT? Here's the real question:

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Some guesses about thier problems:

There seems to be very little strategic vision for their phones in general. No overaching goal that says: we will make the best communication devices on the market with the most compelling, completely integrated experience.

The culture and business infrastructure keeps their interaction design department down. No one seems want to make this a priority. The RAZR still makes you create separate phone book entries for each person's alternate numbers! eg, Mum cell, Mum home, Mum work, all need separate entries. So 1992.

They are cowards when faced with the carriers. Instead of leading them in talks by creating phones that people need and want to pay for, the are always lead by what the carriers decide is cool or not.

The RAZR was an experimental phone, created with scarcity in mind. Unfortunately there was no strategy for creating other highly desirable phones post RAZR. Applying the RAZR design language across more phones is not a stategy.

Their culture of wanting to engineer products to the nth degree is stifling the release of more unique experimental phones which might allow them to test markets and products quicker. If every phone has to go through drop testing for the worst case scenario, only half a dozen phones a year ever get out.

My guess is that to really change their products you've got to get to shake up how their multi-tiered, incredible siloed departments makes phones. Maybe their new CEO will tackle that problem.