Letter from anonymous RIM employee to senior management rips the company, offers suggestions

Letter from anonymous RIM employee to senior management rips the company, offers suggestions
A senior executive at RIM has written a letter to the Canadian firm's senior management team. The letter's first line, "I have lost confidence," pretty well sums up the way employees of the BlackBerry maker feel, according to the letter writer. The anonymous executive says his goal is not to embarrass RIM, but to help the company regain the top position it used to have in the smartphone indusutry.

Among suggestions made in the letter is that RIM needs to follow Apple's focus on the end user. Instead, the company currently builds devices based on "strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice." Saying that while Android will never have the simplicity and elegance that come with building devices using end-to-end software, middleware and hardware, the letter says that BlackBerry has a chance to achieve this with the QNX OS.

Other suggestions include focusing on just a small number of projects at a time while realizing that it is no longer the carriers that RIM needs to kiss up to, it is now the developers that hold the cards. Even this RIM employee notes that, "RIM smartphone apps suck" while comparing the BlackBerry PlayBook to a FisherPrice toy. He also says the BlackBerry SDK platform is like a run down 1990's Ford Explorer while the SDK platform for Apple is like a BMW/M3.

The anonymous RIM executive writes that the current BlackBerry PlayBook ad campaign that points out how the tablet has Adobe Flash while the Apple iPad doesn't, merely shows off things in the PlayBook that differentiate it from Apple's tablet and is an example of lazy marketing. People don't buy product "B" because it has something that product "A" doesn't have. People buy product "B" because they want it and lust after it, he writes. He also says that Canadians are too nice and don't fire people when they should be terminated. As an example, he notes that the RIM employee responsible for the BlackBerry Storm 9530 software debacle when the phone was launched half-baked, is still with the company. He says too many long time employees remain with RIM just because they have been there for some time.

Finally, the unknown author tells RIM's senior management not to let the press get to them while advising them to reach out to employees to get solutions on how to make the company better. He suggests ending the co-CEO position currently given to both Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie and also suggests renaming the company BlackBerry. Will the executives at RIM take this message seriously? The future will let us know.

source: BGR



1. Jaygar1996 unregistered

Bout time someone spoke up.

2. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

*whistles* That man needs to be in charge of RIM instead. The guy responsible for the Storm is still there? What the hell are they smoking?

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Sadly, my prediction is that nothing will come of the letter. The problem is with the two bozos at the top. They are like the emperor with no clothes - in complete denial.

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

they will probably spend more time looking for this guy to punish him, then they will thinking about how RIGHT ON THE MONEY the letter is.

3. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Whoever was responsible for the Storms sw did a horrible job if he/she gave the OK to roll it out as is, but was it he/she really responsible? Or was RIM so scared by the iPhone's success that they rushed out an unfinished product, just to have a competing device? Not sure how to feel about that one. But this isn't saying anything that we all have been saying here for the last 2 or 3 years. If RIM needed a reality check, all the executive really needed to do was send a link of the many discussion forums we've had here or on BGR, Engadget, Phonescoop, etc, etc... We would have told them how bad their phones suck compared to their competition.

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I just have to think of how Steve Jobs would have handled the string of f*ck-ups at RIM. There was a session where the senior team for the MobileMe project were handed their heads by Steve. The message reinforced that f*ck-ups are not tolerated at Apple. Unfortunately, the two bozos at the top of RIM are the chief f*ck-ups. If RIM is going to send a message that f*ck-ups are not tolerated, the top two f*ck-ups would need to go....

4. Iphone.user unregistered

RIM is dead, R.I.P

11. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Not even likely. RIM still had Market growth in the international market and still shipped over 13 million handsets in the US in a down quarter. Every pie chart I have seen still shows Blackberry with over 20% of the smart phone sales. RIM is not in danger of going belly up. However, they need to quit acting like they are not losing their standing among manufacturers. It is beyond imagination they have no new devices out as we hit the 4th of July. It is beyond imagination they are allowing both Apple and Droid powered devices even THREATEN their standing among professionals, much less start to take sales away. Shareholders, employees, designers and consumers are all looking at RIM as a choice, not a leader. Mostly, not even a second choice. That is way beyond imagination when you consider how loyal the Crackberry crowd is.

32. ilia1986 unregistered

"RIM still had Market growth in the international market and still shipped over 13 million handsets in the US in a down quarter. Every pie chart I have seen still shows Blackberry with over 20% of the smart phone sales. RIM is not in danger of going belly up." Said about a year ago: Nokia still has Market growth in the international market and still shipped over XX million handsets in Europe in a down quarter. Every pie chart I have seen still shows Nokia with over XX% of the phone sales. Nokia is not in danger of going belly up. Nuff said I think..

37. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Ummmm ... Nokia isn't on the verge of going belly up... they are still an independant company, and the remain the #1 overall maker of handsets, even after the loss of sales as they walk away from Symbian. Despite the gossip hounds howling, Microsoft does not own them. So, yeah... Nuff said.

5. daveschz

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 30, 2011

Hey iPhone.user, to just write off this platform or any platform is really ignorant. We need these companies to spur each other forward or else they stagnate on their own. Do you think the iPhone would have ever had notifications if it weren't for Android? Really?? As these companies drive each other forward we win far more often than we lose...

6. box unregistered

...what do they mean "Apple's focus on the end-user"? Apple doesn't care about the end-user unless they're in line to buy the latest overrated p.o.s. Try getting support for an iphone through the MYAPPLE hotline. Worst. Customer. Service. EVER.

7. davecann2

Posts: 460; Member since: Mar 15, 2011

Are you serious? Apple has one of the best support systems available. I have only called a handful of time but when I have I always got directly connected to a live operator whom, BTW, was located in the United States and spoke English. The Operator not only knew the product I called about but also provided detailed suggestions to improve my experience.

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

+1 to davecann2. RIM certainly doesn't have the level of customer focus that Apple has. I remember one experience attempting to sync a friends Torch to their e-mail. The problem got escalated directly to RIM technical support and they were not able to sort out the problem. The Torch got returned and the friend switched to the iPhone 4 and me.com. When the friend switched, there was a similar problem with the e-mail client on iOS v. 4 and me.com. But the difference was that the bug/problem got fixed in a few days.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I think he/she meant from the development side. Apple concetrates on a user friendly, easy to operate system with smooth UI and Apps and games that are easy to download and have provide tons of choices. Blackberry still focuses on being a Blackberry experience and just assumes the user is excited by that. RIM needs to see WHY they have fallen behind in the race for Smart devices not just reconize that they have.

9. RicNP

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Apple does not give end users what they want/need, they create an illusion through heavy marketing campaigns, and they are quite good at it. If RIM takes this approach they will fail....again. The only reason apple is able to do this is due to the customer loyalty they've built and which RIM no longer has. Example: Iphone 5 will have 8mp camera, dual core processor, curved touchscreen (Deya Vu??? anyone???). At this point I don't know if they are serious or they're trying to know how stupid their customers can be. RIM has been doing something similar IMO but withuout succes.

18. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Do I smell bs in this post?

28. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

The blind fandroid trolls are a little tough to handle, but eventually you get used to them. Bashing Apple is the most excitement they get on an average day. Never mind that the OS they love so much is a copy cat me too OS.

31. Kaushik unregistered

But the iOS and the concept of touchscreen and pinch-zoom, etc, are all copied by Apple as well.

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol, what part of an iphone isnt a "me too"? the shiney logo? Everything iOS is has been done before... iOS just put it in a smooth finger friendly and colorful package. they all copy eachother. Apple is the worst though, as not only do they blatently copy eachother and try to say its "revolutionary" because they are doing it, they sue the s**t out of anyone that looks even remotely close to them. The worst form of hypocracy.

12. gootch unregistered

Damn...a little salt in the wound from one of the hospital's doctors. That hurts. But, of course, the truth always does.

14. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

By the way, BGR just posted RIM's response if anyone wants to hear from Blackberry. http://www.bgr.com/2011/06/30/rim-responds-to-open-letter-published-by-bgr/

17. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

This line from the BGR article about the RIM response kind of sums it up nicely: "The response goes on to take an extremely defensive stance, listing various reasons that the company is still in a strong position, and its management is taking its current challenges seriously during this transitional period." Denial isn't going to turn things around for RIM.

19. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

RIM should rename themselves RIP because that's what will happen since the iPhone has utterly destroyed RIM and Nokia.

21. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Yep. All the iPhone. Right on. Has NOTHING to do with RIM's own poor decision making after it was on top. And Nokia didn't over reach and spread itself out to thin with Symbian. All Apple. Go team. Be sure to match your cheerleader pom-poms with your fav Wrestlers undies.

22. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Don't get mad at me just because your favorite company get bested by Apple. Not my fault if they Storm failed to compete with the iPhone, but it's not like expected much out of a Blackberry phone because they're horrible phones anyway.

24. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Not mad. Not a chance a post on cell phones could make me mad. Sorry- I find the industry is amazing, but life is to short to care that much. Just amused that the facts of this story, that someone in RIM blames the slump they are in on themselves, completely skipped past you. Yes they used iPhone as an example, but that is only due to the fact they both use their own hardware and software, As far as the Storm, yep it was crap. But the bolds, curves, torches and tours all are quality phones which provide very good battery life, dependable hardware, and the best security- bar freaking none- on the market. Which is why RIM should be doing better. Too many advantages to be losing this type of market. Are they my favorite? No, not anymore. I am not blind to the lack of progress. But, the iPhone success has very little to do with RIM. Some, yes. But they really have got no one to blame but their own decisions. I just hope they bounce back. You, my dear Miz, just post anti-everything to stir up comments. Glad I could help make your day!!

20. Jn978 unregistered

I completely agree with this person. RIM needs to do some re-planing so they can get back on top or close to it. This persons suggestions are really good now hopefully he can get someone at RIM to listen to the suggestions.

23. cposey

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 30, 2011


25. kmix1987

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

I hate to say it but I agree. I used to be a faithful blackberry owner since the days of the side scroll, but with the development of the iphone/ipod and android os, blackberry has fallen behind. One thing I can say in blackberry's defense, they have always had great battery life, something I miss now with my android lol

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