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March 31, 2012

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I suspect that if RIM really meant Research In Motion they wouldn't be going belly-up. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20120323-megan-mcardle-why-companies-fail.ece

I could cite numerous examples of what happens when management fails to recognize that their Blackberries are turning into Raspberries. http://thedigitalconsultant.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/when-a-blackberry-becomes-a-raspberry/

What ever happened to Zenith? They used to make the best (vacuum tube) radios and televisions. Then transistors and integrated circuits passed them by. http://www.zenith.com/about/

What ever happened to Kodak? They used to make the best film and cameras. Then the digital age passed them by. http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/19/how-technology-killed-kodak/

IBM and HP are other good examples. I did much of my research on an IBM mainframe. The HP-9100 http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp9100.htm was ahead of its time. It beat pencil and paper. Remember Harris Computers? Probably not. How about Apollo and Prime Computers? Dataflow and Alliant Computers? I've worked with them all and others. I couldn't afford an expensive CORDIC HP 35 or 45 Pocket Calculator, so I settled for a Texas Instruments SR-50 that separated into more pieces than I could count when it hit a tiled floor.

If DeLorean had used titanium instead of stainless steel, maybe his car would still be flying. If Pan Am had treated their customers like real people, maybe their planes would still be flying. If GM...we'll not go there. I've owned some of the worst cars ever built in the United States (by GM); never again. While people were lapping up cheap Commodore Computers, I spent my hard-earned dollars on Apple Computers. I've owned only Apple Computers for nearly thirty years. (What a love-hate relationship we've had over that time!) I recall that my folks owned a 1958 Ford; By 1962 the headlights had completely rusted out of the body and were hanging by their electrical wires. Dodges (and a Prius) were my best cars. I own a Toyota Prius and a Dodge Sprinter 2500 Roadtrek RV.
http://www.businesspundit.com/the-25-worst-business-failures-in-history/

Great comments Roger.

In my mind RIM was selling things to corporate IT people and was largely disconnected with the end user. There was a period when their notion of email and messaging was "cool" enough to attract the general public, but that all went away when real smartphones arrived on the scene. The IT market really isn't a product market at this point, but a feature market. Not to mention the fact that IT organizations are becoming much less powerful. RIM lost sight of who the really important customer is. A lot of Wall Street guys were snookered by the fact that RIM has (had) a lot of cash. The problem was (is) they don't have any future and are now in a spiral.

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