Marc Dillon, Jolla’s Rock’n’Roll Co-Founder, Departs
Some startups — and hey, some very giant corporations (*ehem*, Apple) — can justifiably be termed ‘character cults’. Certainly, probably the most fascinating elements of reporting on emergent startup companies is entry to the people who find themselves truly making the choices and standing in for an unformed (and future theoretical) company tradition with their very own private charisma.
As soon as an organization scales up considerably then press entry to such individuals is nearly invariably locked down, and most media exercise takes place in bland briefing rooms populated with the type of faceless advertising minions that might make paint curl off the partitions in boredom.
Finnish cellular startup Jolla has all the time had a really seen entrance man in its leather-based-clad co-founder Marc Dillon — definitely ever since he stepped up from COO to CEO, again in fall 2012 (though he subsequently relinquished the CEO position to proceed heading software program dev from 2013).
It was Dillon who stood on stage at Cellular World Congress in 2013 to pitch the Sailfish challenge to a worldwide meeting of carriers. It was Dillon who, the next yr, climbed on a stool on the Jolla MWC sales space like some sort of touring preacher, to declaim the excellent news to delegates: “it’s not daily a brand new OS is born!”
And it was Dillon setting the tone of the crowdfunding marketing campaign for Jolla’s first pill, standing on stage on the 2014 Slush convention in Helsinki with virtually the whole Jolla employees ringed spherical him like disciples, main a cry of “individuals powered!”. The marketing campaign went on to boost round $2.5M.
Dillon’s visibility and private ardour for Sailfish has, at occasions, made him really feel just like the de facto face of all the Sailfish undertaking — eclipsing the opposite co-founders together with his name-to-arms conviction and punkish calls for for a extra human know-how, for software program to have a coronary heart, for builders to champion distinction and care about shoppers whose tastes are in contrast to the mainstream. Sailfish’s small pond definitely rippled with the power of such a vivid character.
So on one degree it’s an enormous shock to hear he’s left Jolla, the corporate he give up former employer Nokia to assist co-discovered all the best way again in 2011.
A Jolla spokesman confirmed his departure to TechCrunch, saying Dillon has left to “purse different challenges outdoors the corporate”, and including: “There’s no huge drama to it as such — this was Marc’s private determination, and he needs to attempt his wings elsewhere. He has numerous ardour for a lot of issues, and although it’s unhappy to see him go, we want him all of the luck in his future endeavors. In fact Marc continues to be a real Jolla and Sailfish OS fan and he’ll do his half in selling our message all over the world.”
All that stated, Dillon has felt much less seen inside Jolla’s enterprise this yr. And briefings on some vital technique shifts — resembling Jolla gunning exhausting to construct a BRICs OS licensing enterprise for Sailfish and subsequently deciding to cut up the corporate into two, placing its preliminary effort into the OS basket — got here from its board chairman, Antti Saarnio, slightly than Dillon.
On the time of writing, Dillon had not responded to a request for touch upon his causes for leaving, so I’m not going to take a position — besides to say that the departure of such a visual and passionate co-founder does really feel like a blow to Jolla. Or else it might be an indication of the corporate shifting gears to maneuver into a unique part. I simply hope they don’t begin hiring droves of selling drones…
It’s definitely true that there’s one thing of a pivot afoot for Jolla. A minimum of for the second it’s moved it away from making its personal hardware to extra absolutely concentrate on OS licensing. That was all the time one of many Jolla enterprise fashions Dillon would speak about, so it’s not a full pivot, however is a shift of emphasis that has clear implications for administration construction, if not enterprise tradition.
The Jolla spokesman additionally famous the corporate lately appointed Antti Öhrling as a brand new COO. “He isn’t changing Marc in any method, however he’ll tackle a large duty within the administration of Jolla,” he added.
Dillon’s LinkedIn profile lists his present employment as board member for fintech startup InvestorEye, a task he apparently took up in August. His Twitter biog lists his pursuits as: “Archtops, Sailfish, Suomi, BSA, Garrard, Rangefinders, Horology, Love.”
— Marc Dillon (@MarcDillonDotFi) August 19, 2015