Linked by David Adams on Thu 30th Jun 2011 15:57 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless There's no question Research In Motion is in the midst of a major transitional period. The company is planning to launch a brand new product line based on a brand new operating system within the next 12 months, and even though the first device born out of RIM's new QNX OS was impressive in some ways, it was incomplete. There still is a chance for RIM to deliver some really interesting competitive products, but time is quickly running out, as we have written time and time again. Update: RIM's response.
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Couldn't care
by molnarcs on Thu 30th Jun 2011 18:03 UTC
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

Couldn't care less about what happens to RIM. Never owned a blackberry, nor do I intend to. Still, this was a very good article - so if you're like me, not interested in RIM, it may still worth your time.

This RIM employee certainly has balls - he is basically asking the CEOs of the company to resign, along with half the management. And he seems absolutely right. If half of what he wrote is correct, RIM has serious management problems. The links (a Jobs presentation and a video about leadership) are also quite insightful.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Couldn't care
by chekr on Fri 1st Jul 2011 03:31 UTC in reply to "Couldn't care"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

This RIM employee certainly has balls


So much so that he remains anonymous!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Couldn't care
by molnarcs on Fri 1st Jul 2011 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Couldn't care"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I think it wouldn't be too difficult to identify him. Besides, what would have telling his name accomplished?

On a side note - there are more letters now coming from other employees:
http://www.bgr.com/2011/07/01/more-letters-to-rim-employees-rally-a...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Couldn't care
by danger_nakamura on Fri 1st Jul 2011 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Couldn't care"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

I don't think that the desire to remain unnamed is an indication of cowardice. It is not an easy thing to blow the whistle in any organization, but sometimes it needs to be done. If the motive is to improve the organization, of what use would it be to do so in a way that would cause your potential removal from said organization?

Is that likely... yes. I work for a company that "values open communication" and I can state beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is complete bs. I have watched over the years as people that stuck their neck out in disagreement, especially over culturally endemic problems, got their heads cut off. Labels like "negative person" and "not a team player" come to mind. The truth is that very few of these people struck me as negative at all, and all of them save one (in my estimation) sought to improve the team position through their dissent, not undermine it.

The fact is that any organization is made up of human beings. Human beings have a natural drive for self preservation, and also issues like ego and hubris come into play. I think that it is often the case that those in leadership positions are incompetent. But they are also in a good position to ensure that no one finds out - or that those that do are "taken care of." And to do so in a way such that their actions do not look like direct retaliation. It is corruption through and through. And it is business as usual. Expecting the poster of this letter not to take these facts into account is unreasonable.

Telling the world that the Emperor has no clothes can be a difficult and dangerous job. We should comend those that have the courage, yes courage, to do so regardless of the venue. Perhaps a case could be made that this communication should have been made to other members of the company and not to the public. Perhaps that was already tried and the attempt(s) failed. But clearly this person felt that nothing short of this would yeild results. He/she has invested his/her future in RIM and their success. He has every right to attempt to shape that future and to do so in a manner that minimizes the likelyhood that he will be singled out to be "corrected."

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Couldn't care
by Not2Sure on Fri 1st Jul 2011 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Couldn't care"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

I wrote the anonymous letter. I have it on good authority from senior BGR editors that they wrote it. I have verified this.

Seriously wtf passes for "tech journalism" these days. It's a fake and just BGR pandering for page views. They have zero credibility for putting something on the web without putting a name to it. This isn't whistleblowing or corporate malfeasance, it's whining and has no place in any publication of basic journalistic integrity.

When people start writing "Open Letters" to management, they are either recently fired/laid off, about to be laid off, and have an axe to grind, or just need to quit and move on, because if they know so much about how to succeed and are in an environment that is "holding them back" whining is about as productive as cashing that paycheck every month (See Nokia Plans G, H, X, Y, Z).

Either way it doesn't matter. The letter was completely off-base. The number one problem with Blackberry is and always has-been marketing. They blow it consistently and are synonymous with boring hardware and "old" software no one wants to admit they own at a party.

Doesn't really matter if it's even true in the smartphone consumer segment. The qualities of the product no longer drive sales anymore just absurd perceptions of them.

(eg., OMG the iPhone has 1.1 million apps in the App Store therefore it must be the best smartphone for me) or (OMG Android is activating 500,000 phones per second(!) it must be the platform of the future)

Reply Score: 1

Sensible advice
by grantpalin on Thu 30th Jun 2011 18:31 UTC
grantpalin
Member since:
2011-02-11

Regardless of the letter's origin, much of the information is sensible. RIM does need to make some internal changes to become competitive again, to return to innovation and quicker product cycles. An organization as ponderous as this has problems at the leadership level, which need to be resolved quickly.

I say this as a BlackBerry user (using the Tour 9630, my first cellphone). I like BlackBerry. There is some app envy for other platforms, but on the whole I like the way my BlackBerry works. I'm looking forward to the new crop of phones this year, as I'll be eligible for an upgrade in December.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sensible advice
by Not2Sure on Sat 2nd Jul 2011 00:02 UTC in reply to "Sensible advice"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Could you point out a specific app or application feature set that you miss from the Blackberry ecosystem that is found on either the android marketplace or the AppStore that you would be willing to pay for as a Blackberry user?

Reply Score: 1

One problem
by fretinator on Thu 30th Jun 2011 18:43 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

The letter could be sent to any fairly-large orgainization. It seems to be the nature of the beast. I have seen employees who have contributed zilch for years just keep on collecting a paycheck, and even get promoted. At times, everyone except a few "leaders" in an organization knows a strategy is going to fail miserably. Cluelessness is next to godliness.

Of course, instead of writing open emails I just watch "Office Space" again. Got a meeting with the "Bobs", see ya later.

Reply Score: 3

Skp the article, wath the video
by Elv13 on Thu 30th Jun 2011 21:11 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

As much as you like/hate Jobs, I think what he said back then is true for most of IT right now.

Not only did he warn about these problems, but he did exactly (and successfully) what he said. I worth 1 hours in your time.

And to say how relevant it is, he talk about Cloud, in 1997.

Edited 2011-06-30 21:13 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Skp the article, wath the video
by dvhh on Fri 1st Jul 2011 05:21 UTC in reply to "Skp the article, wath the video"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Yeah the thin clients and all those wyse terminal didn't count.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

As much as you like/hate Jobs, I think what he said back then is true for most of IT right now.

Not only did he warn about these problems, but he did exactly (and successfully) what he said. I worth 1 hours in your time.

And to say how relevant it is, he talk about Cloud, in 1997.

Yeah, because Jobs was entirely alone in this.
</sarcasm>

Bill Gates has been predicting this since the mid 90s and designed Windows 95 around the concept of gradually integrating the web with the desktop. In fact in the late 90s he went on record saying he wanted to see online versions of his software to replace desktop installs.

And I guess you'll next say that Linux / Unix has had no part to play with timesharing, dumb / thin terminals, clouds or whatever else you want to call it?

To everyone closely involved in IT, nothing about this is that surprising. The problem had always been successfully marketing this technology to the consumers - and /THATS/ where Job's is a genius at. Not the concept nor invention of the technology but making people who couldn't give a toss about IT care about technology at a level that rivals us geeks.

Reply Score: 3

RIM reply
by bram on Thu 30th Jun 2011 23:20 UTC
bram
Member since:
2009-04-03

Man... I am so not impressed with RIMs reply.
"We have 3 billion dollar, little debt and are optimistic."

Pff... what a poor response.
None of the valid issues raised were addressed.
If I was a shareholder, I would ask for dividing up the 3 billion and close shop, because clearly there is no leadership with vision in that company. RIM has no future.

Reply Score: 3

RE: RIM reply
by danger_nakamura on Fri 1st Jul 2011 19:18 UTC in reply to "RIM reply"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

An alternative solution would be to fire leadership, reorganize and put the existing resources to work for a new vision.

Reply Score: 1

I know!
by jarkkot on Fri 1st Jul 2011 07:27 UTC
jarkkot
Member since:
2010-01-14

They will develop QNX for 11 months, then hire Elop to make a deal with Microsoft and use WP7

Reply Score: 4

RE: I know!
by fithisux on Fri 1st Jul 2011 11:12 UTC in reply to "I know!"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

They will develop QNX for 11 months, then hire Elop to make a deal with Microsoft and use WP7


....and hopefully open source QNX.

Reply Score: 3

Apps
by martijn on Fri 1st Jul 2011 10:23 UTC
martijn
Member since:
2010-11-06

If third party developers do not want to support the BlackBerry platform anymore, RIM has to come up with an alternative:
1) Create more applications self
2) Make an emulator for Android apps.
The first is expensive, so should be limited for core/businiess apps. The second would be nice for the majority of third party apss.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apps
by Laurence on Fri 1st Jul 2011 11:18 UTC in reply to "Apps"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

If third party developers do not want to support the BlackBerry platform anymore, RIM has to come up with an alternative:
1) Create more applications self
2) Make an emulator for Android apps.
The first is expensive, so should be limited for core/businiess apps. The second would be nice for the majority of third party apss.


The 2nd has already been done and is old news:

http://www.osnews.com/story/24327/RIM_s_New_QNX-based_Platform_to_R...

http://www.osnews.com/story/24567/Android_Applications_Coming_to_Pl...

http://www.osnews.com/story/24689/RIM_Shows_Android_Apps_on_PlayBoo...

Reply Score: 2

Absolutely Amazing
by danger_nakamura on Fri 1st Jul 2011 17:49 UTC
danger_nakamura
Member since:
2011-06-21

One thing that amazes me time and time again, including at the company that I work for, is the complete inability for a corporate entity to address a question directly and answer clearly and without obfuscation. This applies, at least in my case, equally to internal communications as to external.

I guess the most amusing fact is that when you charge individual members of a corporation with the fact that the communication reads like drivel, they agree! The closest "defense" that I have been able to obtain is a vague reference to legal obstacles in communicating. Not very convincing.

Oh well... I guess add it to the long and ever growing list of the broken aspects of corporate culture.

Reply Score: 1