Open letter to black berry MUST READ!!!!!!!!!

shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
Must Read: RIM exec sends open letter on conditions within company - AfterDawn





"To the RIM Senior Management Team:

I have lost confidence.

While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone — the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.

Mike and Jim, please take the time to really absorb and digest the content of this letter because it reflects the feeling across a huge percentage of your employee base. You have many smart employees, many that have great ideas for the future, but unfortunately the culture at RIM does not allow us to speak openly without having to worry about the career-limiting effects.

Before I get into the meat of the matter, I will say I am not part of a large group of bitter employees wishing to embarrass us. Rather, I believe these points need to be heard and I desperately want RIM to regain its position as a successful industry leader. Our carriers, distributors, alliance partners, enterprise customers, and our loyal end users all want the same thing… for BlackBerry to once again be leading the pack.

We are in the middle of major “transition” and things have never been more chaotic. Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time. We urge you to make bold decisions about our organisational structure, about our culture and most importantly our products.

While we anxiously wait to see the details of the streamlining plan, here are some suggestions:

1) Focus on the End User experience

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. Android has a major weakness — it will always lack the simplicity and elegance that comes with end-to-end device software, middleware and hardware control. We really have a great opportunity to build something new and “uniquely BlackBerry” with the QNX platform.

Let’s start an internal innovation revival with teams focused on what users will love instead of chasing “feature parity” and feature differentiation for no good reason (Adobe Flash being a major example). When was the last time we pushed out a significant new experience or feature that wasn’t already on other platforms?

Rather than constantly mocking iPhone and Android, we should encourage key decision makers across the board to use these products as their primary device for a week or so at a time — yes, on Exchange! This way we can understand why our users are switching and get inspiration as to how we can build our next-gen products even better! It’s incomprehensible that our top software engineers and executives aren’t using or deeply familiar with our competitor’s products.

2) Recruit Senior SW Leaders & enable decision-making

I’m going to say what everyone is thinking… We need some heavy hitters at RIM when it comes to software management. Teams still aren’t talking together properly, no one is making or can make critical decisions, all the while everyone is working crazy hours and still far behind. We are demotivated. Just look at who our major competitors are: Apple, Google & Microsoft. These are three of the biggest and most talented software companies on the planet. Then take a look at our software leadership teams in terms of what they have delivered and their past experience prior to RIM… It says everything.

3) Cut projects to the bone.

There is a serious need to consolidate our focus to just a handful of projects. Period.

We need to be disciplined here. We can’t afford any more initiatives based on carrier requests to squeeze out slightly more volume. Again, back to point #1, focus on the end users. They are the ones making both consumer & enterprise purchase decisions.

Strategy is often in the things you decide not to do.

On that note, we simply must stop shipping incomplete products that aren’t ready for the end user. It is hurting our brand tremendously. It takes guts to not allow a product to launch that may be 90% ready with a quarter end in sight, but it will pay off in the long term.

Look at Apple in 1997 for tips here. I really want you to watch this video because it has never been more relevant. It is our friend Steve Jobs in 97 and it may as well be you speaking to RIM employees and partners today. [ link ]

4) Developers, not Carriers can now make or break us

We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.

Developing for BlackBerry is painful, and despite what you’ve been told, things haven’t really changed that much since Jamie Murai’s letter. Our SDK / development platform is like a rundown 1990′s Ford Explorer. Then there’s Apple, which has a shiny new BMW M3… just such a pleasure to drive. Developers want and need quality tools.

If we create great tools, we will see great work. Offer **** tools and we shouldn’t be surprised when we see **** apps.

The truth is, no one in RIM dares to tell management how bad our tools still are. Even our closest dev partners do their best to say it politely, but they will never bite the hand that feeds them. The solution? Recruit serious talent, buy SDK/API specialist companies, throw a truckload of money at it… Let’s do whatever it takes, and quickly!

5) Need for serious marketing punch to create end user desire

25 million iPad users don’t care that it doesn’t have Flash or true multitasking, so why make that a focus in our campaigns? I’ll answer that for you: it’s because that’s all that differentiates our products and its lazy marketing. I’ve never seen someone buy product B because it has something product A doesn’t have. People buy product B because they want and lust after product B.

Also an important note regarding our marketing: a product’s technical superiority does not equal desire, and therefore sales… How many Linux laptops are getting sold? How did Betamax go? My mother wants an iPad and iPhone because it is simple and appeals to her. Powerful multitasking doesn’t.

BlackBerry Messenger has been our standout, yet we wasted our marketing on strange stories from a barber shop to a horse wrangler. I promise you, this did nothing to help us in the mind of the average consumer.

We need an inventive and engaging campaign that focuses on what we are about. People buy into a brand / product not just because of features, but because of what it stands for and what it delivers to them. People don’t buy “what you do,” people buy “why you do it.” Take 3 minutes to watch the this video starting from the 2min mark: [ link ]

6) No Accountability – Canadians are too nice

RIM has a lot of people who underperform but still stay in their roles. No one is accountable. Where is the guy responsible for the 9530 software? Still with us, still running some important software initiative. We will never achieve excellence with this culture. Just because someone may have been a loyal RIM employee for 7 years, it doesn’t mean they are the best Manager / Director / VP for that role. It’s time to change the culture to deliver or move on and get out. We have far too many people in critical roles that fit this description. I can hear the cheers of my fellow employees now.

7) The press and analysts are **** you off. Don’t snap. Now is the time for humility with a dash of paranoia.

The public’s questions about dual-CEOs are warranted. The partnership is not broken, but on the ground level, it is not efficient. Maybe we need our Eric Schmidt reign period.

Yes, four years ago we beat Microsoft when everyone said Windows Mobile with Direct Push in Exchange would kill us. It didn’t… in fact we grew stronger.

However, overconfidence clouds good decision-making. We missed not boldly reacting to the threat of iPhone when we saw it in January over four years ago. We laughed and said they are trying to put a computer on a phone, that it won’t work. We should have made the QNX-like transition then. We are now 3-4 years too late. That is the painful truth… it was a major strategic oversight and we know who is responsible.

Jim, in referring to our current transition recently said: “No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die.”

To avoid this death, perhaps it is time to seriously consider a new, fresh thinking, experienced CEO. There is no shame in no longer being a CEO. Mike, you could focus on innovation. Jim, you could focus on our carriers/customers… They are our lifeblood.

icon_cool.gif Democratise. Engage and interact with your employees — please!

Reach out to all employees asking them on how we can make RIM better. Encourage input from ground-level teams—without repercussions—to seek out honest feedback and really absorb it.

Lastly, we’re all reading the news and many are extremely nervous, especially when we see people get fired. We need an injection of confidence: share your strategy and ask us for support. The headhunters have already started circling and we are at risk of losing our best people.

Now would be a great time to internally re-brand and re-energize the workplace. For example, rename the company to just “BlackBerry” to signify our new focus on one QNX product line. We should also address issues surrounding making RIM an enjoyable workplace. Some of our offices feel like Soviet-era government workplaces.

The timing is perfect to seriously evaluate at our position and make these major changes. We can do it!

Sincerely,

A RIM Employee


And RIM's official response:

"An “Open Letter” to RIM’s senior management was published anonymously on the web today and it was attributed to an unnamed person described as a ‘high level employee”. It is obviously difficult to address anonymous commentary and it is particularly difficult to believe that a “high level employee” in good standing with the company would choose to anonymously publish a letter on the web rather than engage their fellow executives in a constructive manner, but regardless of whether the letter is real, fake, exaggerated or written with ulterior motivations, it is fair to say that the senior management team at RIM is nonetheless fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.

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. The company is thankfully in a solid business and financial position to tackle the opportunities ahead with a solid balance sheet (nearly $3 billion in cash and no debt), strong profitability (RIM’s net income last quarter was $695 million) and substantial international growth (international revenue in Q1 grew 67% over the same quarter last year). In fact, while growth has slowed in the US, RIM still shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones last quarter (which is about 100 smartphones per minute, 24 hours per day) and RIM is more committed than ever to serving its loyal customers and partners around the world.
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Comments

  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    No kidding on they should change the name of the company. It's astonishing how many non-technical people don't know who "RIM" is, even if they have heard of a Blackberry.

    I remember when I used to be a BES Admin, and I'd have to explain an issue to an end user, I'd always have to say "RIM, the company that makes Blackberries." If I said "RIM" alone, I would just get confused stares as if I was talking about some pr0n.
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  • steve13adsteve13ad Member Posts: 398 ■■■■□□□□□□
    While there are some very valid points, I think that the market has already passed them by. Once more businesses migrate over to IOS or Android, RIM's collapse is inevitability.

    The Playbook is a perfect example of how irrelevant the company has become.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    steve13ad wrote: »
    The Playbook is a perfect example of how irrelevant the company has become.

    Explain?


    I think RIM still has a chance. There are a ton of people who can't move to other platforms for security reasons. If they could just get it together. I mean I was going to get a blackberry storm until....

    The last one I owned was a perl and I honestly can't see myself EVER going back. EVER.
  • unclericounclerico Member Posts: 237
    I was just talking about this to a co-worker today. Whenever someone comes into the "shop" with a blackberry we always give them crap for using junk. I personally can only see them existing in the government sector or others that require extremely tight controls on the devices. 90%+ people at my place use iPhone or Android devices because they are a breeze to work with. The only thing I miss about having BES as the only game in town was when the device CALs were $100+ which required management approval. Now we have people like janitors and purchasing assistants who just have to have e-mail on their phone and since it costs nothing we can't say no.
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  • steve13adsteve13ad Member Posts: 398 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Explain?


    I think RIM still has a chance. There are a ton of people who can't move to other platforms for security reasons. If they could just get it together. I mean I was going to get a blackberry storm until....

    The last one I owned was a perl and I honestly can't see myself EVER going back. EVER.

    While there isn't anything groundbreaking about the Playbook, I actually misspoke.

    I thought it was the device where you plug your smartphone into the device and used the lcd & keyboard to work off your phone. I can't remember the name of the device........
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    The only group of people that like the Playbook, are the diehard fanboys on the biased forums. Every publication rates it poor to meh at best. The fanboys insist that better upgrades are coming. But by the time those come, the latest generation of tablets will be out.

    Ipad2, XOOM, Galaxy Tab, Playbook. Guess which still sits in my drawer at work after another BB user returned it after I asked him to try it out. The Playbook. Too little, too late. They should rename the "Bridge" feature, to "Umbilical Cord" since a portion of it's features are useless unless you have a BB phone within reach at all times.

    Blackberry phones are way behind the times. Everytime they release a new OS, they promise its soooo much faster. Everytime I upgrade, it makes it slower. OS 6 especially is an abomination and everyone at RIM should be cursed with explosive diarrhea for eternity for promoting and releasing such junk.

    RIM's only smart move, will be if BES can work with Apple/Android devices. But then again, others are making their own enterprise products....so they may be too little, too late again.
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Some employee just had a Jerry Maguire moment. I sincerely hope that he/she has already been sniped by one of those headhunters they mentioned, because as soon as senior management finds out who aired that dirty laundry, they are going to quickly become persona non grata
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    I think RIM still has a chance. There are a ton of people who can't move to other platforms for security reasons. If they could just get it together. I mean I was going to get a blackberry storm until....
    This was the case a few years ago, but is not the case any more. There are solutions that will allow you to secure Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile devices to the same level you can secure a Blackberry with a BES.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Everyone wrote: »
    This was the case a few years ago, but is not the case any more. There are solutions that will allow you to secure Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian mobile devices to the same level you can secure a Blackberry with a BES.

    Not completely true. While there are some solutions that emulate some of the features that BES offers, none of them offer the same level of policy based control as BES. I used Mcafee EMM at my current/former place of employment and there were still some security issues with Android Devices (I think Iphones were like 90% there). One of the more obvious ones was fde when the phone was locked. BB/BES does it and to the best of my knowledge Iphones and droids can't.

    There is still a place for BB but the problem is BBs just aren't that fun to use. This is critical for them to get back into a contending place. They need to be fun and sexy.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Not completely true. While there are some solutions that emulate some of the features that BES offers, none of them offer the same level of policy based control as BES. I used Mcafee EMM at my current/former place of employment and there were still some security issues with Android Devices (I think Iphones were like 90% there). One of the more obvious ones was fde when the phone was locked. BB/BES does it and to the best of my knowledge Iphones and droids can't.

    There is still a place for BB but the problem is BBs just aren't that fun to use. This is critical for them to get back into a contending place. They need to be fun and sexy.
    And I think this statement proves the point steve13ad was making. RIM has become large and seeming lost its business agility. The only thing that is keeping them alive at the moment is that they are fully entrenched in the business world and comfortably integrated with Exchange. Had the iPhone been able to sync with Exchange from the day it was released and had Apple put just a little more into making it enterprise ready RIM would be in a worse situation than it is now. And with every new version of the Android or iPhone their situation worsens.

    RIM needs to give their users cake and allow them to eat it. The Storm was crap. It was sexy but not fun. The only phone I ever wanted to smash when I was done with it. I agree with a lot that open letter says. They need to throw out their "playbook" (their old strategies not the device) and do something drastic to make the business and consumer worlds take notice.
  • Cthu1huCthu1hu Member Member Posts: 52 ■■■□□□□□□□
    steve13ad wrote: »
    While there isn't anything groundbreaking about the Playbook, I actually misspoke.

    I thought it was the device where you plug your smartphone into the device and used the lcd & keyboard to work off your phone. I can't remember the name of the device........
    Motorola Atrix is what you're thinking of?
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    steve13ad wrote: »
    The Playbook is a perfect example of how irrelevant the company has become.

    I've not used one yet, but I work with some guys that have. They are impressed with it being a secure tablet, but the question quickly turns to "Where are the apps?"

    Not a complete loss, just needs some updates.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    There is still a place for BB but the problem is BBs just aren't that fun to use. This is critical for them to get back into a contending place. They need to be fun and sexy.

    Or at least fast. I've been on Blackberry for the last 6 years. Like I said before, each update seems to make them slower. Every new phone they release is a 95% copy of the previous one...and doesn't boast any better specs that matter. Aside from the obvious nightmares like surfing, going on YouTube or the disaster that is their App library, even simple things like scrolling through emails or doing a Facebook update are horrendously slow.

    My wife too has had BB for years and she has been venting her frustrations with me all.

    I can't get my business/IT stuff done quick enough. And she can't do her social/personal stuff quick enough. Today/this weekend I am going to VZW to get her the iPhone. Happy wife = Happy life. :D
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,827 Admin
    I really can't explain why RIM's only touchscreen phone offering is still the Storm (my current cell phone) and the Storm 2. Motorola, HTC, Samsung, et al. have eaten RIM's lunch in the touchscreen market.

    I'm really buying into how the Playbook was RIM's last gasp at marketplace relevance. With that apparent failure, RIM is good for nothing but as a purchase by a large corporation wanting to get into the cell phone market. Microsoft anyone?
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good question, but only the RIM senior executive or their secret team can tell us why. I love blackberry for business. They are secured and easy to use. Especially when you have Vz or AT&T. BES is great server that can be easy integrate to existing network infrastructure and many tools to help on monitoring. You can even able to develop application to fit in the BB portal.

    However, Storm is very disappointed. I like the Bold a lot.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
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