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RIM: Rapid Implosion Mess

September 16, 2011

We live in times of seemingly overnight sensations and failures.  I recall fondly over 10 years ago how a sales rep friend of mine pulled out his this handy-dandy thingy at a cocktail party that was a cross between a pager and an full-keyboard mini computer.  This thingy was a first generation Blackberry.  Over the months that followed, it seemed everybody cool in corporate-America had one.   Then I soon learned Blackberry’s co-founder/CEO was an old B-school hockey buddy.   I quickly became a RIM fan and follower although it would take me over 4 years to rid myself of my Palm Treo in favor of the latest Crackberry.  I lived in awe with this device on my hip as a built in time-slicer.  Then everything changed with the iphone and android.   The writing was on the walls.  Now the downward slide is in full swing.  Read the latest spin how how marketing and product marketing failed RIM from a Forbes commentator here.

RIM yesterday reported quarterly results that were nothing short of abysmal: profit down 58.7%; revenue down 10%; BlackBerry sales almost 10% short of analyst expectations; PlayBook tablet sales were less than 50% of what analyst had expected.

Of course there are still Blackberry addicts out there, but their ranks are thinning. Here’s a reality check: Ten years ago, how many people in your life wanted a Blackberry? Fast forward to today: a fair number might still carry corporateBlackberrys – but how many people you know would spend their own money on a Blackberry? Scratching your head? That makes two of us.

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