It’s no secret that RIM is struggling to stay relevant. Whereas the purveyor of Blackberry’s once defined what a smartphone was, the Canadian-based company is now desperately trying to play catchup in a market that has largely passed them by.
Just a few weeks ago, BGR posted an anonymous post from a member of RIM’s senior management team highlighting many of the internal struggles RIM is facing that keeps them from keeping pace with the likes of Apple and Google.
Building on that, BGR has yet another inside look at the problems plaguing RIM, and not surprisingly, they go all the way to the top of the company. As things sometimes tend to go in tech, the two folks responsible for leading RIM to greatness, co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, appear to be the same people preventing RIM from adjusting to a new technological landscape where consumer desire plays a more integral role in enterprise sales than ever before.
So why isn’t RIM a market leader anymore? Put simply, an inability, if not downright refusal, to change and adapt to changes in the market place.
Picture yourself sitting in an executive briefing at Research In Motion. You’d hear Mike Lazaridis unequivocally state time and time again that BlackBerry smartphones would never have MP3 players or cameras in them because it just does not make sense when the company’s primary customers were the government and enterprise. “BlackBerry smartphones will never have cameras because the No. 1 customer of ours is the U.S. government,” Mike Lazaridis would say in meetings. “There will never be a BlackBerry with an MP3 player or camera.”
The fact is, that RIM didn’t only miss the boat in terms of product features and device trends as we now know, but the underpinnings of the company’s consumer failure began all the way back in 2005 with bold statements like these, combined with a lack of research and development in numerous key areas.
And so began an ongoing trend for RIM where they were unable to see the smartphone market shifting before their very eyes. It’s also worth mentioning once again that RIM was in utter disbelief when the iPhone first launched.
From a former RIM employee:
Everyone was utterly shocked. RIM was even in denial the day after the iPhone was announced with all hands meets claiming all manner of weird things about iPhone: it couldn’t do what they were demonstrating without an insanely power hungry processor, it must have terrible battery life, etc. Imagine their surprise when they disassembled an iPhone for the first time and found that the phone was battery with a tiny logic board strapped to it. It was ridiculous, it was brilliant.
I really don’t think you’re giving Apple enough credit here. They did something amazing that many very prominent people in the industry thought was either impossible or at least a decade away, and they did it in a disgustingly short time frame.
The entire writeup at BGR is an eye opening look at RIM’s culture and why we haven’t seen anything innovative come out of the company for quite some time. Check it out over here.