Hey Aaron. I mostly agree with your post. I don’t fully agree, however, with “We needed Android because we couldn’t do it ourselves”:
Mostly Qt (and also KDE) developers, and some GNOME developers who where still left developing for Nokia since the N900 and earlier, made the Nokia N9 Swipe phone. Technically the product is a success; look at the N9′s reviews to verify that. Marketing-wise it’s sort of a failure due to, in my humble opinion, a CEO switch at the wrong time and because he didn’t have enough time to learn how good the phone actually was. But even without much marketing, the product is being sold as we speak.
I do agree if you mean with your blog post that for example the N9 happened thanks to local leadership. The leadership that made it happen was employed at Nokia though, and not really a person in either the Qt or the GNOME camp. Rather a group of passionate leadership-taking people at Nokia.
It might have contributed that these technical leaders didn’t see how strong they could have been together during the CEO switch, at the time when Ari Jaaksi left Nokia as soon as Stephen Elop’s plans became clear. I’m not sure.
I think what we can learn from the episode is to put more trust in the person, and the leadership-taking people, who lead the next product developed the way the N9 was developed. Give those people more time onstage at open source conferences.
I’m also sick and tired of Free Software being inefficient and self-destructive due to internal schism. It’s one of the reasons why I’m not working much on Free Software nowadays. As I’m not much of a leader myself, I silently hope some local leader would change this. Maybe somebody at Digia? Jolla? If I can help, let me know.