It is odd. I have been talking on this blog about software – and sometimes on automobiles. Here is a link from Nokia – and its plans to get big into automobiles. Coincidence? No.
Here is why.
When I was in my teens, we used to get this pseudo-historical TV serial “The Sword of Tipu Sultan”. The story was about an Indian King hero and how he lost against British East India Company. Sugar coating aside, the director Sanjay Khan had done a decent job.
Once I was watching an episode depicting war preparations by both the sides. My father interrupted me and asked, “Can you deduce from these scenes who should win the war?”. I said “no”. My father said it is obvious that in long run, the British should win. I asked how. Then he pointed at the British general and commanders spreading a map on the table and planning the war – movement, provisions, backups etc. but Tipu was addressing his crowd as a hero. [My father taught me a lesson on how cold blood wins over hot blood. That isn’t the point of discussion here.]
Lesson: Cartography and surveying are amazing tools
Science and technology didn’t progress much till Galileo noticed that a pendulum swings only at certain interval. This was the birth of modern cronometry – or clock business. Later that time measurement developed into Newton’s laws where the “rate of change” became the cornerstone of the universe – and the world exploded with technology and science.
Lesson: Cronometry is an amazing tool
Albert Einstein proves that there isn’t much difference between time and space.
Lesson: Surveying and cronometry are cousins
As human beings limited to space and time, measuring both are extremely important to us. There is no wonder conquering both are goal of every major business.
If you look at last two decade’s technological advances, GPS (surveying and cronometry), GIS (cartography), mobility of computing, self-driven cars (automation of change in location) – all is promising great future for any business that combines space and time.
While business success depends on a lot of factor and I can’t say Nokia would get it 100% right, fundamental idea of Nokia is unbeatable.
Long back a rishi of upanishads could see this importance of time and distance, probably by observing how riding a horse or bullock cart helped reducing pains of humankind:
यदा चर्मवदावकाशम् वेष्टयिष्यन्ति मानवाः
तदा देवमविज्ञाय दुःखस्यान्तो भविष्यति.
When humans will wrap around the world like a hide (skin)
Then the pain associated of not knowing God will end
Moral: If you want to make money, one way is to make anything more controllable in space and time