The Globe and Mail has a fantastic article on the decline and fall of BlackBerry. It’s so deeply reported that it’s no surprise there are three names on the byline: Sean Silcoff, Jacquie McNish and Steve Ladurantaye.
The overarching explanation of what happened, we already know: BlackBerry maker RIM failed to evolve at anywhere near the speed required in the post-iPhone area, and stopped making good devices. But the story, which includes quotes from a new interview with RIM founder Mike Lazaridis, is the closest thing I’ve seen to the tale told from the inside.
This bit captures the tone-deaf hubris that did RIM in:
“The problem wasn’t that we stopped listening to customers,” said one former RIM insider. “We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did. Consumers would say, ‘I want a faster browser.’ We might say, ‘You might think you want a faster browser, but you don’t want to pay overage on your bill.’ ‘Well, I want a super big very responsive touchscreen.’ ‘Well, you might think you want that, but you don’t want your phone to die at 2 p.m.’ “We would say, ‘We know better, and they’ll eventually figure it out.’ ”
You could write a book about all this. And it would be cool if Silcoff, McNish and Ladurantaye did.