RIM started its downfall the moment the iPhone was announced in 2007, and with the launch of Android devices. The Canadian company failed to innovate and continued to churn out ‘competitive’ devices that fell flat (Storm, Torch, PlayBook). Now, it appears a museum exhibit for the BlackBerry is already set in motion to showcase the history of the device (20 of 84 models will be on display), at the Personal Computer Museum.
Is this foreshadowing the inevitable? The company’s co-CEOs have already stepped down and propped up a puppet CEO. RIM’s own directors have been brash in their criticism towards pundits. As per the words of director Roger Martin, on the basis that RIM should have looked for outside leadership to help turn around the company (via the Globe and Mail):
“I laugh at the vast majority of critics when they say ‘Oh, you should have made this CEO transition, like, four years ago.’ Yeah, right – like, to who?”
“So we’re supposed to hand it over to children, or morons from the outside who will destroy the company?” he says. “Or should we try to build our way to having succession?”
When asked about how RIM should try to be more like Apple:
“People were saying we can’t make powerful phones like Apple. Yes, we can, but we couldn’t believe consumers would put up with that kind of battery inefficiency and that kind of network inefficiency.”
Still, he has little patience with calls to be more like Apple. He points out that Apple dismissed its own co-founder Steve Jobs in the mid-1980s in favour of an outside marketing specialist, only to bring Mr. Jobs back, laying the foundation for its current exalted status.
“They ask ‘Why can’t you be more like Apple?’ So we should go bankrupt and fire our founders and bring in a moron? That’s what we should do?” Mr. Martin says.
Yep, that’s right. We’re the ones to blame for RIM not wanting to make better phones. I just find the battery life on my iPhone 4S so deplorable, I’d rather get a BlackBerry Bold with its amazing 2 inch screen and BBM feature. If RIM really wants to be successful they need to eliminate the arrogant bozos like Martin who truly believe RIM still offers a compelling product–it’s too bad numbers don’t lie and the plunge of their stock price tells a different story. Best of luck for the turnaround, RIM.