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Entries in BlackBerry (1)

Monday
Jul162012

I'm Mad as Hell: Open Letter to IT and Thorsten Heins, RIM President & CEO 

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO
Research In Motion
295 Phillip Street
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3W8

Mr. Heins, you’ve made me very angry.

I’ve been a BlackBerry user for nearly two decades.

Frankly, I was a tough sell. My trustee SkyTel pager would reach me through thick and thin, and even got to the point of doing two way communications. Battery life was measured in weeks.  News was pushed 3x a day, along with Market data.

My Nokia phone was a recognized leader, with solid performance.  This preference eventually gave way to my Motorola Razr.  For organizers, I tried the stylus based Palm, and the portfolio sized Psion.  Nether were easy to use.

Then, people started talking about this new thing, a growth out of the pager world.  The BlackBerry would allow me to get emails!  Manage contacts!  And synchronize my calendar.

Now, the Nokia and Razr let me have contacts and calendar.  But it was a Rube Goldberg arrangement.

BlackBerry made it simple.  BlackBerry made it reliable.  BlackBerry made it secure, especially with the advent of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.  In short, the BlackBerry became the darling of companies wanting secure email.

Having a BlackBerry was a status symbol.  You had an array of versions, making is a common discussion point around screen size, color, etc.  It became a tether….extending the workday and getting nicknamed the CrackBerry.

And then it happened. 

Steve Jobs introduced something called the iPhone in 2007.  A mere five years ago.  About the same time you joined RIM.

That was a warning shot across your bow.  While the form factor is different, developers went to it in droves.  At the same time, a little browser company Google was toying with an operating system Android.  All open.

This is where you missed the boat.

Developers were going to devices where they had market and could easily develop.  BlackBerry had market share, and also a hubruis leading to the end.

Even my business partner bailed on you.

And I hung in.  How could the market leader fail like that?  Heck critical mass alone would keep you in business.

Fail you did.  During your tenure as Chief Operating Officer, Product Engineering, overseeing the BlackBerry smartphone portfolio world-wide, you developed a continuing series of incremental products, and the embarrassing PlayBook (while Apple did the iPad and there are Droid tablets everywhere. 

Friday, one of my clients sent me a message, asking with the same tone as, “Do you still have that ’57 Chevy.’

 

For me, I like the BlackBerry platform. I am irritated RIM hasn’t made it easy for people to develop for it.  At a recent MIT Conference, the BlackBerry was mocked.

The issue, as I see it, is an unwillingness to evolve with the marketplace.

So, Mr. Heins, I will wait until something else captures my eye and summarily toss my BlackBerry.  My BlackBerrys have accompanied me around the world numerous times.  I’ve tolerated the 5 hour battery life, and numerous resets. 

Mr. Heins, you have wasted my time.  You have wasted a lot if IT department’s time. 

So to all the IT departments out there, struggling with Bring Your Own Device, and the security holes of the other platforms.  While it’s far too late for BlackBerry, I encourage you…no I implore you.  Make your feelings known.  Make Research in Motion an example of a rebellion when customer needs go unheard.

In the immortal words of Howard Beale:

Well, I’m not going to leave you alone.

I want you to get mad!

I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,

“I’m as mad as hell,

and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”

Email investor_relations@rim.com or call (519) 888-7465, ext. 75950 and let them know how disappointed you are in RIM.