Is Nokia suffering from little-brother syndrome?

In a widely circulated internal memo, Nokia chief Stephen Elop painted a bizarre picture of his company standing atop a burning oil rig. A PR Daily writer tries to explain why he conveyed this message.

In case you’re an only child, or part of the Von Trapp family, allow me to explain little-brother syndrome, based on my own experience:

My stepbrother has always been bigger than me. Much bigger. As step brothers are often wont to do, we would scuffle. Sometimes, I would even go after him. Mind you, he had 50 pounds on me, even as a kid.

Nokia is suffering a similar plight in its efforts to compete with Apple and Google in the evolving land of smartphones.

The New York Times on Wednesday published an article about the company that includes excerpts of a memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to his employees. In it, he relates a story about a man standing on a burning oil rig at sea.

“The man was standing upon a ‘burning platform,’ and he needed to make a choice,” Mr. Elop wrote in the memo. “He decided to jump.”

Nokia employees are standing on a metaphorical burning platform, he says, and they, like the man, need to radically change their behavior and jump.

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