Richard Levick does a post-mortem on Research In Motion's (RIMM) downfall, and finds several...

Richard Levick does a post-mortem on Research In Motion's (RIMM) downfall, and finds several cultural flaws that other companies would be well-advised to take note of. "RIM’s fall from grace ... can happen to any company that fails to connect with its consumers; confuses necessity with love; uses market share as an excuse for complacency; or fails to control its own narrative."
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Comments (13)
  • Chris Lau
    , contributor
    Comments (3986) | Send Message
    It just goes to show: preserving a company is no different than preserving any relationship.
    7 Apr 2012, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3527) | Send Message
    Monday morning quarterbacks have all the answers.
    7 Apr 2012, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (3443) | Send Message
    When RIM was trading at its peak of ~$147 a share, management's heads were probably swollen with heightened success, then the honors, Order of Canada, honorary doctorates, accolades, world class Physics Research Center swarming in like a tsunami, few could withstand such sudden success.


    The Chinese idiom reads 'Beware of Height where Peril is' (paraphrased).


    That, is where and when declines actually would start.
    7 Apr 2012, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • Robin Hewitt
    , contributor
    Comments (5473) | Send Message
    "The Chinese idiom reads 'Beware of Height where Peril is' (paraphrased)."


    Classic Greek tragedy: Hubris goes before a fall.


    Also, Proverbs 16:18.


    One again, we haven't outrun what traditional folk wisdom always used to know.
    9 Apr 2012, 02:23 AM Reply Like
  • VAThomasJr1
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    I sure hope Blackberry isn't thinking that the Android/iphone market is simply going through a phase because just about EVERY BILL PAYING BUSINESS has an app that's compatible with android and iphone. I would love to use my blackberry with blackboard unfortunately blackberry is limited and most of the options are not compatible.
    7 Apr 2012, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3130) | Send Message
    RIMM could follow the path of Microsoft in trying to gain ground on Windows phone, namely paying major developers to be on their platform. Both BlackBerry (BB10) and Windows Phone (Windows 8) will have much work to do to get a good slice of the still growing smartphone market, and attract new users to their devices.
    7 Apr 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4911) | Send Message
    A couple of issues I would note:


    1. BB's competitors were in Silicone Valley and based in Toronto was a long ways from staying close to trends and what might take them out.
    2. BB reminds me of the early destop software programs that were one-trick ponies. Like VisiCalc, etc. Those always get smoked by a suite of offerings like MS Office. More functionality and the same or lower price.
    7 Apr 2012, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • Castrese Tipaldi
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
    When RIMM was trading at its peak of 147 $, all the people now singing the Requiem were talking about how cool it was and why you couldn't lose buying it.


    It's the same old story....
    7 Apr 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • Franky Figs
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
    There's still a reasonable chance they will come back. And if no by themselves, then a buyout will definitely happen.
    7 Apr 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4911) | Send Message
    Palm was a killer device at one time. RIM's trajectory looks similair.
    7 Apr 2012, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • Franky Figs
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
    You can't compare the two. Not even close. Palm was in debt. RIM is not. RIM is still profitable (that last loss was due to a one time write down). So a very faulty comparison.
    7 Apr 2012, 10:08 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4911) | Send Message
    Uh loss of market share. Does that mean anything? RIM killed Palm now Apple kills RIM.
    8 Apr 2012, 12:29 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4584) | Send Message
    Lots of poor, backward facing analysis.


    This is, like the reviews of the Playbook before it, a highly consumer oriented piece which completely omits to give any consideration to the amount of effort exerted by RIM to maintain its Enterprise and Business orientation.


    That may have been a strategic error for market dominance, but RIM is still growing subs, its just taking an ever smaller piece of a growing pie. Which the author completely misses by stating "RIM’s tribe is dwindling to an ever-smaller band of users".


    It's funny to me how folks still make the claim that RIM "there were no great revolutionary leaps that changed the way consumers and business use their smartphones." It really outlines how limited the grasp and experience of the writer was with RIM's products.


    A lot of the things Apple did, simply were not possible before Apple did them. For instance: Apple came out with its media/content consumption device JUST as 3G bandwidth started lighting up, RIM was focused on making its devices bulletproof reliable and data friendly to EDGE/2G at the same time, in particular since their product was primarily used in the corporate world (data plans weren't commonplace at the time outside business), RIMs market was less inclined towards 3G's significant battery drain and large data consumption on plans and networks not designed for them.


    2G/Edge bandwidth actually continues to be adequate for all but video really, although image heavy webpages and the decline of mobile versions of webpages don't help.


    I'll also point out that the writer's comment about "Consumers don’t buy from Apple because it’s innovative, they buy from Apple because it’s a religion." will very likely come back to haunt him. There is a limit to how many incrementally improved products a consumer will purchase from a company annually, and Apple's awareness of this fact has encouraged it to devise very smart strategies to counter it. Marketing genius is not the same as a religious-emotional attachment, and the fact is that the dollars in folks' wallets are finite.


    Let me help the author: Apple and Google are beating the pants off RIM because the consumer market is far, far larger than the enterprise market, and a consumer oriented product will therefore, absolutely and in no uncertain terms, always outsell a enterprise oriented one. Are their products necessarily better? I leave that to the consumer or the product to decide.
    8 Apr 2012, 08:24 PM Reply Like
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