RIM, the company responsible for the once-great Blackberry, has responded to an open letter sent from an alleged “high level employee”. The letter outlines the major problems that exist within the company, and how to solve them:
…Let’s obsess about what is best for the end user. We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice — the end user doesn’t care. We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work…
Surprisingly, RIM has directly responded to the letter. Their response is part PR fluff, part investor candy, but despite being vague and impersonal, the letter shows that RIM might actually be capable of listening to the countless complaints that have surfaced over the last few years. RIM is slipping down a steep slope, and if they don’t change quickly they will be completely obsolete very soon. RIM notes that they are still profitable, and have $3 billion in cash, so they still have a chance at reinventing themselves. Though, if they continue being dismissive about their true situation, don’t expect them to last much longer.
RIM recently confirmed that it is nearing the end of a major business and technology transition. Although this transition has taken longer than anticipated, there is much excitement and optimism within the company about the new products that are lined up for the coming months. There is a fundamental business reality however that following an extended period of hyper growth (during which RIM nearly quadrupled in size over the past 5 years alone), it has become necessary for the company to streamline its operations in order to allow it to grow its business profitably while pursuing newer strategic opportunities. Again, RIM’s management team takes these challenges seriously and is actively addressing the situation.