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Blackberry Businesses

RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-ignore-red-flags dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An executive at Research In Motion has written an open letter to the company's leadership, begging them to focus more on user experience, developers, and accountability. 'We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.' RIM decided to address the letter, but their response completely skates over the issues. Unfortunately for them, the original letter triggered many more from current and former employees, who largely agreed with the need for better decisions at the top."
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RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter

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  • Gone in 10 years. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:45AM (#36634294)

    RIM is the AOL of the 20teens. The once juggernaut who will be a footnote a lot sooner than they might have thought.

    I've got any number of users who are asking me how well our company integrates business features with iPhones and Android phones, and I keep telling them "well, decently, but not as good as with blackberry", and the thing is... none of them care. As contracts expire, phones die, or just as they get sick of their BBs, they're all going to iOS and android anyway cause the rest of the RIM experience is crap, and I don't blame them. I've got two phones on my waist, a droid and a curve, and I use the curve for email and phone calls. that's it. It's just inferior to the droid at, well, everything else.

    BB executives don't have to "right the ship" at this point, they need to build a whole new boat, and instantly. Somehow, I don't see it.

  • Re:Balls (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:51AM (#36634388)
    It's entirely possible that the CEO and his cronies are making more money at RIM than they could anywhere else, at any time, even if they drive the company into the ground.

    If that's the case, they are going to hold on for dear life with both hands, the company and stockholders be damned.
  • by fruey (563914) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:54AM (#36634420) Homepage Journal

    From basic observation I have seen execs moving from BlackBerry to iPhone & Android because the latter platforms are in fact now both capable of syncing reasonably well with Exchange.

    BlackBerry is still a powerful platform for corporate email but they're mostly used for reading - rather than writing - email so the data entry & ergonomy for basic email operations isn't *killer* enough. On top of that new >200 DPI screens on Android & iPhone devices make reading much more pleasant. If you read a lot, then having hardware keys to scroll (I love being able to use space to page down on BB) is great though, but the text resolution is shit.

    The thing most have missed so far is that the gadget that is invading the boardroom is the iPad. Meetings where everyone has a slide deck on their own tablet make sense, especially when (if indeed it isn't already out there but has escaped my attention) a collaboration tool allows slick collective annotation on iPad.

    Many apps on BlackBerry are pretty awful, and my all-time favourite, viigo, was bought by BlackBerry and then almost instantly killed. It relied on a proxy to format RSS properly and serve it to the terminal, and the proxy never works any more. The new RIM News Reader app isn't available in my country. WTF? It was the only app that allowed RSS + Twitter (multiple accounts) + stocks + weather in one easy place.

    Note also that the processing power on smartphones make BlackBerry appear exceptionally slow. RIM are going to lose, unless they bring back something a bit more *killer* in the corporate space. They have some interesting niches though, esp. for teen texting where BlackBerry does come into its own. iPhone text messaging is way sexier though, mostly thanks to the higher DPI.

  • by jomama717 (779243) <jomama717@gmail.com> on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:07AM (#36634556) Journal
    Perhaps "job ending" is more appropriate.

    Keep in mind that the judgment of correctness is going to be made by the very people being called out. Don't get me wrong, I think this guy is right on - people like him that have the stones to tell it like it is, damn the consequences, are far too rare in my opinion. This is true in business and politics.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:41AM (#36634900) Homepage

    There has been much talk about Microsoft's leadership failing due to "whatever" it is that the leadership can't seem to get beyond. Even with all this very public discussion, the leadership of Microsoft can't get their heads out of their asses to keep them from rolling.

    It looks like RIM is in a similar position. And the fact that they publicly responded with doubt, suspicion and with a hint of anger, I would say they have a lot of trouble looking beyond their own egos as well.

    RIM has huge potential in their own market. That market is always being threatened because that's the way the market works.

    Do blackberry apps suck? I don't know -- I have never used blackberry apps other than the ones that came on the phone. There's certainly not a "market" in the sense that one exists for Apple and Android. Perhaps they need one too in order to remain interesting and relevant. But more than that, the game is more advanced now that Blackberry currently offers. And perhaps what they should be doing is leveraging their current client-server model so that apps live on servers and not just on clients. I'm already updating RIM with good ideas and I'm just a crappy, know-nothing who has used Blackberries and administered BESes. I know the product(s) and service(s) they offer and they have not evolved in the market significantly.

    They are like the movie and music executives who are "risk averse" and simply want to remake the same things over and over again expecting to continue getting good results. The problem is, people get bored with the same things and the market is people.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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