R.I.P. RIMPosted: July 1, 2011 Filed under: Business Musings | Tags: Android, BGR, Blackberry, iOS, iPad, Jesse Eisenberg, Jim Balsillie, Justin Timberlake, Mike Lazaridis, Motorola StarTac, RIM Leave a comment
First, my apologies to my very small but growing group of loyalists – if you’d had a month like the one I just had, blogging would have been at the bottom of your list of priorities too. Thankfully, bones are knitting, surgical scars are healing, and life is returning to something that resembles normal.
One quick post before everyone scatters for the holiday weekend. I have been a Blackberry loyalist for about a decade, and after much resistance, have recently come to terms with the very sad truth that the company’s products are going the way of the Motorola StarTac. (Hmmm, since tech superstar Justin Timberlake is otherwise engaged in reviving one moribund former digital darling, maybe his The Social Network co-star Jesse Eisenberg can help RIM out – I mean, they have similar credentials, right? Just a thought.) Not only have they consistently failed to innovate over the last few years, but their products don’t even keep pace with iOS and Android features. Adding insult to injury, the developer community has abandoned them in droves – the death knell in the era of the smart phone and the iPad. (Btw, can we all agree to abandon, at least for now, the generic “tablet?” The only tablet of consequence is the iPad.) Finally, the enterprise market, which RIM has long dominated by a substantial margin, is migrating in increasing numbers to the iPhone as employees demand the cooler, sleeker and (gulp) just plain better device.
One brave high level RIM employee has published an anonymous open letter to co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis (well-respected tech site BGR has verified the employee’s identity) that gives a straight up account of all that is wrong with the company and some smart, clear cut moves that need to be made quickly to restore the company to its former glory. Kudos to Mr./Ms. Whistleblower – after all, any schmuck can tell you it’s raining, but not everyone has the ability or good sense to give you an umbrella.
You can read the letter here and RIM’s unsurprisingly lame response here.