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Blackberry Businesses

RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter 197

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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  • Balls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by molnarcs ( 675885 ) <> on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:43AM (#36634270) Homepage Journal
    That guy certainly had balls. He's basically asking the CEOs of the company to resign, along with half the management. And if half of what he writes is true (and based on other employee reaction, it seems to be), they should go! I found the links in the open later very interesting as well. I have no love for Apple, their vision of the future of computing quite frankly scares me - I prefer to decide myself what is or isn't appropriate for my consumption (censoring Ulysses ffs?!). That said, there are a lot to be admired about Apple - their marketing strategies, their organization and management techniques, etc. I never saw the linked keynote, and I found it quite interesting. The second link to the video about leadership/marketing was equally interesting.

    It's such a pity that RIM's response is basically "fuck off!" - way to bury their heads in the sand.

  • Wrong apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:59AM (#36634480) Homepage

    RIM's "app store" has as its lead product something for getting sports news. Wrong answer.

    They should be focusing on being a really good business tool, and having applications for business users. Some examples:

    • GetMeThere - a travel application for executives. You want to get somewhere, it figures out how and makes all the arrangements. It knows where you are, it knows your company travel policies, it knows your frequent flyer information, it knows your preferences, it knows about travel delays, and it knows how to talk to all the reservation systems. Including NetJets. The iPhone travel applications [] have all that data, but are too dumb to put it together.
    • ExceptionMonitor This ties in with corporate systems to report exceptions. If something was supposed to ship by Thursday, and it didn't, you get an alert. Monitors key ratios for your business while you're out of town, too.
    • BackgroundCheck Check out a company or an individual. Connects to Dun and Bradstreet, Hoovers, corporate registration information, criminal records, etc.

    That's what executives need, not Angry Birds.

  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Friday July 01, 2011 @12:24PM (#36634724)

    I'm not a fan of RIM products but I'd hate to see a Canadian company go the way of Commodore by having incompetent management run it into the ground.

    The co-ceos need to be "FIRED" for cause for failing to do their jobs to protect shareholder equity and grow the business. They should not get any golden parachute and should be black balled from getting another CEO jobs in any publicly traded company.

    Contrary to other commentaries, I do not believe Android is the answer. They need to work on QNX and develop a bridge API similar to Apple's Carbon to allow developers of BB apps to quickly port/recompile on their QNX platform.

    They also need to refocus on their core competency which is corporate users. Get out of the BB for consumers market and focus their app world store on applications applicable to business users including getting apps like gotomeeting,, Citrix receiver, to work seamlessly on their future "superphones" and their tablets. Speaking of tablets, get a native email, calendaring and contacts client on their tablets. They need to have a "universal" app model for their tablet/superphone platform as well.

    Finally, scrap the "Playbook" name. Think of something like "WorkBook", "WorkSlate", "WorkPad", "TaskBook", "TaskPad" , or "LaunchPad" instead. Not everyone is into football which I assume is where the playbook name comes from.

    Basically, they have to either do that or sell off their hardware completely and get into the application market with BBM and BB Email clients for Android and iOS to compete with Good Technologies to offer "secure" corporate email on employee's personal smartphones and tablets that is kept encrypted and separate from the personal email. Think of it like a mini VM that just runs the BB stuff securely between the mobile device and the BES servers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 01, 2011 @12:32PM (#36634816)

    Jack Welch also had a philosophy of giving 80 percent of the rewards to 20 percent of the employees, and requiring a certain percentage of employees be fired as "underperformers" every single year after year. This is the fastest way I know to change an organization from being product and external competition focused to being process-laden and competing against itself internally.

    A certain large software company we all love to bash has gone down this same road, and has many of the same problems that RIM is facing.

    As for sending questionnaires to employees, good luck at finding employees who actually believe it would be listened to and not be used against them for speaking out against the current status quo.

  • Re:Um, excuse me? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 01, 2011 @01:12PM (#36635328)

    Blackberry is a waste of time. It has terrible software and hardware support, and isn't popularly catered-to by most app developers.

    Oh, so it's like Android?

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