The problem with Research In Motion

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RIM BlackBerry 7230
Image via Wikipedia

This post will not be the answer to all of RIM‘s current problems (yes, problems). It will, however, help the two-headed beast-led company get back on the path to respectability.

The answer can be found with one word:  Respect.

What I have realized is that RIM does not seem to understand what respect means.  And I hope to address that today here in this post.

Wikipedia defines respect as such: “Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem.” The writers of that post might as well have added “company” to that definition. Nevertheless, this definition of respect is suitable for this blog post.

This blog post is not intended to summarize all the blunders that have occurred to RIM in recent months. If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t wind that here.  Search on your favourite search engine or tech blog to read up on those.

Let’s get into some detail below on this thing called respect:

Respect for the brand

The BlackBerry brand has been an innovator in the mobile and email communications space for many years.  The BlackBerry pager was the first device to offer incoming and outgoing email to the masses.  Many of the users were business people yet everyone wanted one. Unfortunately, affordability was not what it is today.

The BlackBerry brand stood for quality, innovation, and status.  Today? Not so much. The public perception of both RIM and it’s BlackBerry products has fallen. And it seems that RIM is the only player not concerned about this.

Respect for the investor.

It’s one thing to defy public opinion and turn the other cheek. Has anyone ever heard of an investor at RIM suggesting that the company is on solid ground? We all know that the stock has taken a beating. But guess who else has taken a beating? The average Canadian investor who has money invested in Canadian stocks and mutual funds.

Almost every Canadian blue chip fund has a healthy portion of its portfolio invested in RIM. Which means many Canadians have lost a healthy portion of their savings due to the struggles at the Waterloo-based tech company.

Respect for their partners.

Partners such as Rogers, Bell, Telus, WIND, retail outlets, PR agencies, suppliers, employees, and many other partners have seen the BlackBerry and PlayBook portion of their sales here in Canada dwindle.

If it wasn’t for the ubiquitous Android devices or Apple’s iPhone, I’m very curious what the state of Canada’s technology community would look like…

Respect for their employees

How hard must it be to face family members, friends, colleagues and even passers-by when they know you work for RIM?

Respect for the consumer

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had 2 BlackBerry’s. My current one is the Torch. The only reason I use it is because I received it free at a BlackBerry Torch launch party.

The Torch was supposed to give Apple’s iPhone a run for its money. Never happened.

The PlayBook? No comment. Although everyone who uses one loves it.

I’m not even going to mention the 3 days with no data. And don’t get me started on $100 of free apps as an apology.

Respect.  It is this humble blogger’s opinion that if the suits at Research In Motion respected their customers, partners, employees, investors, and brand that they would be in a better position.

Here’s a quick suggestion to get on the path to respectability: Be humble; start listening to your consumers, employees, investors, and partners; start focusing on your core strengths; and become passionate again for technology and innovation.

What are your thoughts?

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One thought on “The problem with Research In Motion

    Shirley Williams said:
    October 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I would like to think it is a wake up call to re-evaluate their values. I also think this is a prime example when an organization believe they are so successful they forget to listen to their audience and be open to feedback– before they are in a pickle!

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