Book – Losing the Signal

BBThe book gives an insightful overview of BlackBerry history, beginning of RIM, successes and struggles of the company, stories of its founders, and shifts in the industry.

It was interesting to trace the spectacular success of BlackBerry as an initially single-use device that solved a very clear problem, and RIM’s reaction on advent of iPhone and eventually iPad. As iPhone was revealed, Google stopped its plans in development of a competing device and turned to licensing of its operating system.  RIM tried to create the device, and did not succeed.

The most insightful (from my perspective), was a strategy RIM used to introduce BlackBerry to the enterprise.  The company realized that CIOs would not be very enthusiastic to introduce another device they needed to support, and would require a year of research to consider the new office tool acceptable.  However, CIOs would not object if CEO would want to device.  RIM targeted CEOs and provided devices to their immediate circle first.  As BlackBerry did not make sense without connection to company’s email, RIM created a free software that allowed connection of the device without IT support (and knowledge).  This approach educated executive about a new tool, “BlackBerry addicted” executives wanted the same level of accessibility for their staff, and cautious CIOs had to support the new trend.