By: Hillel Fuld
Steve Jobs was a complicated man. Many idolized him, many hated him, but everyone agrees that when it comes to his presenting abilities as well as his vision in the world of design were breath-takingly inspirational. In fact, I believe that is the very reason most people put up with his personal issues of treating people the way he did and displaying the patterns of behavior for which he was well-known.
OK, but what does Steve Jobs have to do with an article on the future of RIM, the makers of BlackBerry?
If you recall, Apple was 90 days away from bankruptcy when Jobs came back to the company he had founded and from which he was later booted. It wasn’t long before it became clear to all that this man had turned this sinking ship around. Now, Apple is worth a whopping $400 billion dollars and counting.
RIM needs a Steve Jobs badly. The company has not displayed any true innovation in years, with the exception of the Playbook, which I loved from day one. Of course the lack of a native email client and apps quickly took care of that. So, we are back to square one. RIM is sinking fast and they need to make some drastic moves. Some say RIM will go bankrupt in 2012, others say they will sell to Samsung, while our sources tell us it is Amazon that wants to buy the company.
The company clearly agrees with this assessment, hence the recent announcement during the highly televised AFC and NFC championships (nice play, RIM), that its co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, are stepping down and will be replaced by current COO for products and sales, Thorsten Hein.
My first thought was “Excellent, it is about time RIM shook things up a bit”. Well, you can watch the video below of the new CEO and how he views the company. Sorry to be so harsh, but he speaks for a full seven minutes and eighteen seconds, in which he says… Nothing! A lot of buzz words and self praise is not what BlackBerry users need to hear right now, RIM!
This new CEO, if I am judging by his first public appearance, is not the Steve Jobs that RIM needs. In fact, he does not even seem to be a Tim Cook. Not sure what he is, but all I can is, RIM, you are in my prayers and I will always have a special place in my heart for you. Remember, I used to be your biggest fan.
In fact, despite all the signs, I am still rooting for you, RIM, but please understand that BBM and a keyboard will not get you far in a world of Siri, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Lumias running wild. Get with the times and innovate, innovate, then when you’re done with that, innovate some more. Oh, and don’t forget some decent branding along the way, you are going to need that too.