1. srsBlackBird's Avatar
    So I started what was supposed to have been an open letter to the BlackBerry community in the general forums and now I've moved it over here. The basis of what I was saying is simply that BlackBerry needs to get back to basics. They need to get back to being innovative, but they also need to develop a better sense of what innovation means in today's smartphone game. They've also got to develop a sense of what innovations are relevant.

    I am embarrassed for them at how they've introduced new innovations in mobile UI and design and let other platforms capitalize. When Apple was snickering at 7-inch screens on tablets, BlackBerry pressed on. Somehow, the PlayBook has become the pariah of the tablet market while iPad minis are selling left-and-right. When all other mobile device manufacturers were still building devices with a home button, BlackBerry developed intuitive bezel to bezel gestures on BB10. Subsequently, gesture-based commands are behind some of the "innovative" features in Google Glass, which retails at $1600. How is this?

    When my contract is up for renewal, I was considering getting the Z10; then I learned the A10 would be out shortly after. I'm excited about the A10 because on paper, it reads like the answer to Samsung's GS4. The fact of the matter is that it's not. It's just a bigger, more polished Z10.

    Although this is the Armchair CEO forum, I hope that Thorsten is reading. The founder of Apple is credited with being the next great innovator since Thomas Edison. I'm not going to argue that-- everyone is going to have an opinion on that front. What I will argue is that he was an even greater businessman. He had a keen sense for being able to simplify a problem and sell an elegant solution. Many of those elegant solutions were developed by persons even he may have considered more gifted, more talented, or more intelligent than he considered himself. What he did was he took all of the great innovations that solved separate problems, and he unified them under one elegant brand and singular device that could be used to solve separate problems at once. If we look at BlackBerry objectively, for comparison, by those standards what we see is that there is nothing genuinely innovative or disruptive coming out of Waterloo; which is upsetting, because there's so much great, innovative and disruptive technology available that BlackBerry could employ today.

    Take for example, Tactus Technologies and their dynamic use of microfluidics in screens-- raised touchscreen buttons on your touchscreen smartphone or other touchscreen devices. A screen with buttons that appear and disappear on demand is something people with big thumbs have been anticipating for a long time. It's gimmicky, true-- but it's also incredibly useful. Another example is BBMaps. Apple may have had a glitch with it's Maps app, but it still has a native map app that actually shows you a map of your location in real time. Again, another useful feature. Even more offensive, I think, is BlackBerry not co-branding.

    Cobranding is when you and another brand team up. Like how the HTC One has Beats by Dre. Or like when Carl Zeiss lends his name and presumably his 41-megapixel technology to Nokia for use in their Lumia phones. Instead, we're watching Thorsten show off irrelevant cobranding with Mercedes and Formula 1. Look, there are over 1 billion smartphone users nowadays. What that says is that everyone has a smartphone and uses it to fulfill a need. Where there is a need there is a smartphone. The question is which smartphone will it be? But not everyone drives a Mercedes Benz or a Formula 1 car. So by cobranding with partners like the aforementioned-- BlackBerry isolates and excludes itself from being fully explored and considered by the average consumer. It's wonderful to know that QNX software can do all of these amazing things in any car. But people don't fit their entire lives in their cars and then put their cars in their pockets. They do all of that with a phone. Not a mobile device. A phone. Not a portable typing and communications apparatus. A phone. It would be cool if BlackBerry could cobrand with anyone. For example, BlackBerry speakers use Dolby technology. All major smartphone manufacturers do this, but none of them are bragging about it. The closest is HTC with the One and Beats by Dre. On the A10, since the device will have higher-end finishes, including the screen glass, a partnership with Gorilla Glass could speak to the durability of the device. Or if BlackBerry were to spend some of the capital in it's cash reserves, they could purchase Tactus, and start distributing phones with dynamic, raised touchscreens.

    In my other post of the same title, I iterated that BlackBerry was successful because of it's ability to produce consistently genuine innovation. I still think that. BlackBerry could put out an actual turnip. But if they innovated on that turnip, and that turnip was both disruptive and innovative, I know that people would find it remarkable; remarkable enough even, to want an actual turnip. Innovate BlackBerry. CrackBerry, tell BlackBerry what you want.
    Last edited by srsBlackBird; 08-20-13 at 10:43 PM.
    jegs2, ajst222, 1oo1 and 5 others like this.
    08-20-13 02:04 AM
  2. qbnkelt's Avatar
    So I started what was supposed to have been an open letter to the BlackBerry community in the general forums and now I've moved it over here. The basis of what I was saying is simply that BlackBerry needs to get back to basics. They need to get back to being innovative, but they also need to develop a better sense of what innovation means in today's smartphone game. They've also got to develop a sense of what innovations are relevant.

    I am embarrassed for them at how they've introduced new innovations in mobile UI and design and let other platforms capitalize. When Apple was snickering at 7-inch screens on tablets, BlackBerry pressed on. Somehow, the PlayBook has become the pariah of the tablet market while iPad minis are selling left-and-right. When all other mobile device manufacturers were still building devices with a home button, BlackBerry developed intuitive bezel to bezel gestures on BB10. Subsequently, gesture-based commands are behind some of the "innovative" features in Google Glass, which retails at $1600. How is this?

    When my contract is up for renewal, I was considering getting the Z10; then I learned the A10 would be out shortly after. I'm excited about the A10 because on paper, it reads like the answer to Samsung's GS4. The fact of the matter is that it's not. It's just a bigger, more polished Z10.

    Although this is the Armchair CEO forum, I hope that Thorsten is reading. The founder of Apple is credited with being the next great innovator since Thomas Edison. I'm not going to argue that-- everyone is going to have an opinion on that front. What I will argue is that he was an even greater businessman. He had a keen sense for being able to simplify a problem and sell an elegant solution. Many of those elegant solutions were developed by persons even he may have considered more gifted, more talented, or more intelligent than he considered himself. What he did was he took all of the great innovations that solved separate problems, and he unified them under one elegant brand and singular device that could be used to solve separate problems at once. If we look at BlackBerry objectively, for comparison, by those standards what we see is that there is nothing genuinely innovative or disruptive coming out of Waterloo; which is upsetting, because there's so much great, innovative and disruptive technology available that BlackBerry could employ today.

    Take for example, Tactus Technologies and their dynamic use of microfluidics in screens-- raised touchscreen buttons on your touchscreen smartphone or other touchscreen devices. A screen with buttons that appear and disappear on demand is something people with big thumbs have been anticipating for a long time. It's gimmicky, true-- but it's also incredibly useful. Another example is BBMaps. Apple may have had a glitch with it's Maps app, but it still has a native map app that actually shows you a map of your location in real time. Again, another useful feature. Even more offensive, I think, is BlackBerry not co-branding.

    Cobranding is when you and another brand team up. Like how the HTC One has Beats by Dre. Or like when Carl Zeiss lends his name and presumably his 41-megapixel technology to Nokia for use in their Lumia phones. Instead, we're watching Thorsten show off irrelevant cobranding with Mercedes and Formula 1. Look, there are over 1 billion smartphone users nowadays. What that says is that everyone has a smartphone and uses it to fulfill a need. Where there is a need there is a smartphone. The question is which smartphone will it be? But not everyone drives a Mercedes Benz or a Formula 1 car. So by cobranding with partners like the aforementioned-- BlackBerry isolates and excludes itself from being fully explored and considered by the average consumer. It's wonderful to know that QNX software can do all of these amazing things in any car. But people don't fit their entire lives in their cars and then put their cars in their pockets. They do all of that with a phone. Not a mobile device. A phone. Not a portable typing and communications apparatus. A phone. It would be cool if BlackBerry could cobrand with anyone. For example, BlackBerry speakers use Dolby technology. All major smartphone manufacturers do this, but none of them are bragging about it. The closest is HTC with the One and Beats by Dre. On the A10, since the device will have higher-end finishes, including the screen glass, a partnership with Gorilla Glass could speak to the durability of the device. Or if BlackBerry were to spend some of the capital in it's cash reserves, they could purchase Tactus, and start distributing phones with dynamic, raised touchscreens.

    In my other post of the same title, I iterated that BlackBerry was successful because of it's ability to produce consistently genuine innovation. I still think that. BlackBerry could put out an actual turnip. But if they innovated on that turnip, and that turnip was both disruptive and innovative, I know that people would find it remarkable; remarkable enough even, to want an actual turnip. Innovate BlackBerry. CrackBerry, tell BlackBerry what you want.
    Thought provoking post. Thank you.
    08-20-13 03:55 AM
  3. JeepBB's Avatar
    Interesting read OP.

    I personally think it may be too late for BB now, but maybe whoever takes the brand forward will consider your ideas.
    Sent from my Lumia 900 using Board Express
    08-20-13 05:50 AM
  4. ranzabar's Avatar
    My ADHD didn't allow me to read the whole thing

    Posted via CB10
    08-20-13 04:27 PM
  5. jegs2's Avatar
    My ADHD didn't allow me to read the whole thing
    Yeah, I have similar issues, but go ahead and read a paragraph, switch to something else, and then come back and read more. It's a pretty good read.
    08-20-13 06:27 PM
  6. ajst222's Avatar
    Very well written post OP. I also share the same embarrassment of BlackBerry that you have. It's a shame that they have such a great OS with such a great UI but since their marketing is so poor, no one knows about it. And if people did know about it, they would be immediately dissatisfied due to the lack of apps. It's hard for me to recommend the Z10 for that very reason.
    08-20-13 06:34 PM
  7. earlym's Avatar
    OP I also agree about everyone else. Great post. Your business histogram knowledge shows. Maybe BlackBerry has been too conservative, too long. There are co branding opportunties out there but BlackBerry thinks too business corporate minded though.

    Jobs wore jeans. Heins wears suit pants. Maybe TH is still too stiff and not lose enough. Also how innovative can one be with the amount of corporate stress BlackBerry has now? They are dying and I don't think the creative side can see opportunity as they could from a position of relaxation.

    I heard someone say once...burn a tree, lay back and let the creative juices flow. It?s a reference to chilling out (smoke) and from relaxation soar to the higher plains of creativity and think about consumer experiences and meld them into this wonderful product.

    I love my Z10!

    Go BB!

    Posted via CB10
    08-20-13 08:52 PM
  8. earlym's Avatar
    BTW, I don't do drugs nor condone it. Just sayin, relax and let the creativity flow.

    Posted via CB10
    08-20-13 08:55 PM
  9. southlander's Avatar
    About the co-branding. Not that it's a bad idea but the HTC Beats Audio thing has not really worked out.

    http://mobile.businessweek.com/artic...w-solo-project

    Z10STL100-4/10.2.0.1047
    08-20-13 09:09 PM
  10. srsBlackBird's Avatar
    About the co-branding. Not that it's a bad idea but the HTC Beats Audio thing has not really worked out.

    http://mobile.businessweek.com/artic...w-solo-project

    Z10STL100-4/10.2.0.1047
    It's not always going to work out, but the point is about bringing as much value to the consumer, and having a message that clearly translates that value. While sales of the HTC may not be stellar, they are not as abysmal as BlackBerry. HTC is hitting several points of brand recognition and relevance through cobranding alone. Virtually everyone recognizes the Google, Android, and Beats by Dre brands because virtually everyone has at some point had exposure to, and experience with those brands. By all accounts, separately, these are considered premium brands. So combining them in one product amplifies the value. Again, at the risk of sounding like an HTC or Android or Beats fanboy, (which I am not) when you look at how the HTC One was received and reviewed compared to the Z10, it was no contest. Check out the reviews for both here on CNET:

    HTC ONE
    http://m.cnet.com/reviews/htc-one-re...phone/35616143

    BlackBerry Z10
    http://m.cnet.com/reviews/blackberry...-wont/35583323

    The bias is incredible, but not totally unwarranted.

    #BlackBerryTorchBearer
    08-20-13 11:09 PM
  11. birdman_38's Avatar
    I didn't read it in its entirety but still 'Liked'
    08-21-13 02:44 AM
  12. BB10QNX's Avatar
    Bring in Alan Mulally to turn it around .

    Advantages they have now, like remote access, great reception, etc, they're not promoting in their marketing, and yes, innovate, cobrand, parnter up [BB Maps/Mireo ], but don't forget to market it well.
    08-21-13 05:45 AM
  13. Eli_B's Avatar
    This was a very well written and interesting post.

    Thank you, OP!
    08-21-13 08:46 AM
  14. eddy_berry's Avatar
    Great write up. It was a very well written statement of ones thoughts and I'm sure you hit close to home for many BlackBerry fans.
    08-21-13 09:09 AM

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