1. kcdist's Avatar
    BlackBerry playing game of capitalism gloriously: Terence Corcoran | FP Comment | Financial Post

    Whether the greatest tech phenom in Canadian history succeeds or not with its do-or-die BlackBerrry 10 platform and devices, the national corporate icon is playing the game of capitalism in glorious fashion.

    Executives have been turfed, the original creators of the company shown the door, the business model revamped, its standalone character retained, government bailouts eschewed, new products have been launched, market analysts and experts are at war over the companys prospects, the outlook is uncertain. Isnt the free market great? And made so, right here in Canada.

    No sporting contests, from Stanley Cup series to the Super Bowl or even the World Cup, can match the BlackBerry saga for tension, drama, strategic plays, execution challenges and uncertainty of outcome. The company once known as Research in Motion, considered a loser and all but dead to the world last year Sell it! to Microsoft or anybody and just get it over with has fought back and stands today with what appears to be a chance at winning.

    This is a guess. Im just a corporate sporting fan, sitting in the stands with no inside knowledge or even much of clue about how it is possible for a small group of business executives, people like BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, to marshall the talents of thousands of people and a million business and technological issues on multiple continents behind the goal of imagining, designing, producing and selling a piece of technology as complex and amazing as the mobile miracles that smartphones have become.

    The BlackBerry Z10 device has been launched in Canada, the United Kingdom, India and elsewhere. In March, the Z10 debuts in the United States, the launch to be announced by the major U.S. telco carriers and BlackBerry. That BlackBerry has come this far is itself an entrepreneurial marvel achieved in the face of relentless criticism from a constant procession of naysayers and harpies.

    A year ago, I wrote: The current Grand Canyonesque gap between Research In Motions upbeat self-portrayal and the outside worlds lost-in-cyberspace view of the company represents one of the greatest disconnects in modern corporate history. Somebody is going to end up with a muddied reputation.

    It is too soon to determine where the mud will fall. The canyon between BlackBerrys backers and its critics opens daily in reports and commentaries, continuing a pattern that has played out over the past year. Every step the company took and takes has been greeted with jeers.

    The later U.S. launch in March was seen as a disastrous strategic bungle. But now, well, maybe it will turn into an advantage. The company and its telco partners certainly have had enough time to draft an effective marketing campaign, the market has been tested in Canada. Maybe demand is building.

    So far, BlackBerry seems to have risen above the critics and above the market for ideas that constitute the stock trading and media communities. We believe BB10 is likely to be DOA, said Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette last November. He was still at it this week. We continue to believe the Z10 launch involves relatively small shipment volumes and only moderate sell-through so far in markets which have historically been so me of BlackBerrys strongest.

    On the other side of the market, a guy named George Kesarios wrote Wednesday the BB10 may be doing better than many imagine:

    "According to MarketWatch, more than half of the customers purchasing the new Z10 smartphone in Canada are new to the BlackBerry platform. This was disclosed during a conference for the companys enterprise customers and developers in San Francisco. BlackBerrys VP Richard Piasentin also said more than 33% of customers buying the Z10 in the U.K. are also new to the companys smartphone platform.

    BlackBerry is expected to do well in Canada (its home turf). Canadas biggest independent mobile phone retailer, Glentel Inc., said the BlackBerry is the leading smartphone sold in all of its 330 Canadian retail stores since Feb. 5. But Canada is not the only market that BlackBerry is doing well.

    For those who dont know it, England is the biggest BlackBerry market in the world."

    Somebody else questioned the varacity of BlackBerrys statements. Another battle developed over whether the company was botching the market in India. As for the stock, which closed Wedneday at $13.55, its either set to tank or, as one analyst predicted this week, is heading for $39.

    And so it goes in the market, for ideas and smartphones. In a global environment dominated by giant Androids and iPhones, the BlackBerry is still in the game in a dazzling display of what it takes to marshall resources and people to create products, with all players from shareholders to designers, from the CEO to the sales reps voluntarily participating in a living demonstration of what can and does happen in a free market economy.
    Russell McNeil and DuexNoir like this.
    03-02-13 11:58 AM
  2. DuexNoir's Avatar
    It's quite an interesting article. Does emphasize the willpower and determination BB has in its tenacious fight to survive and succeed. Makes me want to root for it even more!!
    03-02-13 12:17 PM

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