11-04-17 11:47 PM
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  1. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Apple had iTunes and then apps/content revenue. Google search/ad then metrics revenue. Microsoft had licensing and software revenue. I believe that BB founders knew the revenue and resource limitations and just planned on riding the BIS revenue until it was over. BB share price was so inflated, founders needed to keep it propped up legitimately until they could unload their holdings within regulatory guidelines. Setting up a new OS was measured as success only by the amount of time it kept people attached to BIS. When, BB10 rolled out, enterprise clients realized the new OS had more in common with Android than IOS or BIS. From the BB founders perspective, BB10 was a success with the goal they set for it to accomplish, buy 3-4 years of time and not be fraudulent vaporware.
    If that were the case... they would have done better sticking with BBOS longer.

    I think they really expect the millions to stick with them and that they would be able to caputure a big portion of the Billions in sales that were being predicted back in 2010. I think they really expect to buy QNX and release their new OS in the 2011/2012 time fram they initially establish. And I think they really expect developers to keep supporting them.

    Because I really think they were an arrogant bunch without a clue to what the market was looking for.
    10-31-17 08:17 AM
  2. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    If that were the case... they would have done better sticking with BBOS longer.

    I think they really expect the millions to stick with them and that they would be able to caputure a big portion of the Billions in sales that were being predicted back in 2010. I think they really expect to buy QNX and release their new OS in the 2011/2012 time fram they initially establish. And I think they really expect developers to keep supporting them.

    Because I really think they were an arrogant bunch without a clue to what the market was looking for.
    Originally I thought same, but they were dumping all their possible holdings and stretching it out so as not to drop share price anymore than it was. If they believed in the future, they'd have stayed in to reap their perceived rewards. They knew from the beginning, nothing could or would ever match the SAF revenues. They never expected RIM shares to go through roof so fast or high. Why sit around to collect 10-15 years of profits and dividends if possible, when it was right there in front of them like a winning lottery ticket? What they did and how they did it, stayed right inside the lines. They broke no laws. Why do you think, founders left abruptly without real comment.

    Losing The Signal, is way to explain, a version that makes them look arrogant, bumbling and foolish. They were none of that. By releasing the book, they controlled the message by putting it down once in writing and not discussing verbally. If they ever admit knowing what they did, they could be guilty civilly and probably criminally.

    They unloaded their shares at much higher prices, and never came back. Why didn't they launch a bid to buy the company ahead of Prem Watsa? I love BlackBerry and truly am impressed with how John Chen has saved the company. I'm sorry that BB left the hardware business, as I've used and owned devices since the almost beginning around 2000-2001 until now. JB and ML were sheer genius and lucky at same time. We all believed in BB and BB10. They were excellent salespeople until the product was delivered. Then like back 100 years ago, they left town when everyone realized they'd been duped.
    10-31-17 10:07 AM
  3. DonHB's Avatar
    Could it simply be hubris? They expected success and managed inventory to match. And that was the beginning of the end?

    Also, they never had good relationships with developers and using Android as the API would have been a good will gesture through the implicit reduction of risk. Once that was done, BlackBerry could have approached developers, as partners, to direct BB10's future, thus changing the dynamic.

    John Chen had the opportunity to pursue this track when he became CEO, and make BB10 the premium non-GPS Android platform with the R&D freedom that goes with it. Should this last attempt fail he could have then licensed Android GPS, all the while garnering Android expertise. A not too expensive detour to the present.
    10-31-17 03:19 PM
  4. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Could it simply be hubris? They expected success and managed inventory to match. And that was the beginning of the end?

    Also, they never had good relationships with developers and using Android as the API would have been a good will gesture through the implicit reduction of risk. Once that was done, BlackBerry could have approached developers, as partners, to direct BB10's future, thus changing the dynamic.

    John Chen had the opportunity to pursue this track when he became CEO, and make BB10 the premium non-GPS Android platform with the R&D freedom that goes with it. Should this last attempt fail he could have then licensed Android GPS, all the while garnering Android expertise. A not too expensive detour to the present.
    No he didn't. He (BB) was already broke. They couldn't layoff BB10 personnel fast enough. The company was teetering on bankruptcy liquidation, not reorganization, liquidation....
    10-31-17 03:31 PM
  5. kvndoom's Avatar
    Could it simply be hubris? They expected success and managed inventory to match. And that was the beginning of the end?

    Also, they never had good relationships with developers and using Android as the API would have been a good will gesture through the implicit reduction of risk. Once that was done, BlackBerry could have approached developers, as partners, to direct BB10's future, thus changing the dynamic.

    John Chen had the opportunity to pursue this track when he became CEO, and make BB10 the premium non-GPS Android platform with the R&D freedom that goes with it. Should this last attempt fail he could have then licensed Android GPS, all the while garnering Android expertise. A not too expensive detour to the present.
    John Chen had no such opportunity. He was hired specifically to steer the company away from certain doom they were speeding towards. If I'm hired to transition out of software, getting paid 8 figures per year, I'm damn sure not going to tell the Board that I think I can save the company by making more cell phones.
    10-31-17 03:33 PM
  6. app_Developer's Avatar
    Could it simply be hubris? They expected success and managed inventory to match. And that was the beginning of the end?
    I think that was part of it. Hubris seems to have been baked into the RIM/BlackBerry culture.

    Also, they never had good relationships with developers and using Android as the API would have been a good will gesture through the implicit reduction of risk. Once that was done, BlackBerry could have approached developers, as partners, to direct BB10's future, thus changing the dynamic.
    They did that. That’s what the Android runtime was for. They gave us almost all of the APIs, and hosted portathons to show us how easy it was.

    John Chen had the opportunity to pursue this track when he became CEO, and make BB10 the premium non-GPS Android platform with the R&D freedom that goes with it. Should this last attempt fail he could have then licensed Android GPS, all the while garnering Android expertise. A not too expensive detour to the present.
    Only if you’ve convinced yourself it wasn’t very expensive. But Chen can’t make decisions based on what BB10 fans wish were true, he had to make decisions based on the actual headcount he had and their actual costs. Not the fantasy costs.
    10-31-17 03:33 PM
  7. DonHB's Avatar
    They did that. That’s what the Android runtime was for. They gave us almost all of the APIs, and hosted portathons to show us how easy it was.
    There was no way to use the Flow UI within an Android app.

    This was also about managing the relationship with developers. The player was not up-to-date and that did not suggest to developers significant commitment to supporting Android.

    Only if you’ve convinced yourself it wasn’t very expensive. But Chen can’t make decisions based on what BB10 fans wish were true, he had to make decisions based on the actual headcount he had and their actual costs. Not the fantasy costs.
    When he became CEO he had the full head count and the top people at QNX. How high would the cost be to add support for Flow in the Android Player and development tools as part of updating the runtime (4.4)? Maybe, he could also have made arrangements with Amazon to move all non-Flow conforming apps to the Amazon App Store.
    10-31-17 03:52 PM
  8. app_Developer's Avatar
    There was no way to use the Flow UI within an Android app.

    This was also about managing the relationship with developers. The player was not up-to-date and that did not suggest to developers significant commitment to supporting Android.

    When he became CEO he had the full head count and the top people at QNX. How high would the cost be to add support for Flow in the Android Player and development tools?
    Android apps use Android UX. Not many of us went for that option. A different UX would have been more expensive for us and so even fewer developers would have chosen that.

    How high would the cost have been? Too high for Chen and the BoD. That’s all that matters.
    10-31-17 03:55 PM
  9. glwerry's Avatar
    When he became CEO he had the full head count and the top people at QNX. How high would the cost be to add support for Flow in the Android Player and development tools as part of updating the runtime (4.4)? Maybe, he could also have made arrangements with Amazon to move all non-Flow conforming apps to the Amazon App Store.[/QUOTE]

    I've read today that Chen was brought in AFTER THE BOARD HAD DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE BB10 any further. Chen was brought in specifically to transition the corporation AWAY from phone hardware.

    So, the scenario that you're arguing is just pointless.

    It's a bit like analyzing how Hitler could have defeated the D-Day landings in 1944. He didn't - we can speculate and second-guess all that we want to, but there is a bottom line - the history has happened and no amount of second-guessing is going to bring about a different outcome.
    10-31-17 04:29 PM
  10. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    There was no way to use the Flow UI within an Android app.

    This was also about managing the relationship with developers. The player was not up-to-date and that did not suggest to developers significant commitment to supporting Android.

    When he became CEO he had the full head count and the top people at QNX. How high would the cost be to add support for Flow in the Android Player and development tools as part of updating the runtime (4.4)? Maybe, he could also have made arrangements with Amazon to move all non-Flow conforming apps to the Amazon App Store.
    The company was hemorrhaging cash and the head count was the biggest part of this with it's overhead. The company needed to stop the hemorrhaging immediately and moving BB10 short-term from the full development mode to down scaled development mode and finally support mode is the only thing BB could afford to do.

    Chen was flying a 777 down to one engine and minimal fuel that had just left Honolulu and was midpoint to land in the direction it was flying. The only survivable option was the one Chen was successful with and he glided in on fumes on the first and only attempt he was given.

    Quit the alternative scenarios that ignore reality. I'm not an IT guy but that doesn't matter. When Chen stepped in BB main problem wasn't IT anymore, it was cash flow, or rather the lack of any positive cash flow and more importantly, the rate of unsustainable negative cash flow.
    10-31-17 04:35 PM
  11. DonHB's Avatar
    Android apps use Android UX. Not many of us went for that option. A different UX would have been more expensive for us and so even fewer developers would have chosen that.
    But, would you have been able to use more of your Android source? Would it have been better RoI then Cascades yet provide the UX of Flow? Could the gestures be mapped to Android UI elements so there would be source compatibility? Or even binary compatibility?

    How high would the cost have been? Too high for Chen and the BoD. That’s all that matters.
    You are assuming it was considered and dismissed due to cost. I am not so sure.

    But with Apple moving to a gesture base UX, how soon will Google follow? BlackBerry would have been there with Android on BB10.
    10-31-17 04:48 PM
  12. DonHB's Avatar
    Quit the alternative scenarios that ignore reality. I'm not an IT guy but that doesn't matter. When Chen stepped in BB main problem wasn't IT anymore, it was cash flow, or rather the lack of any positive cash flow and more importantly, the rate of unsustainable negative cash flow.
    Moving the Android Player to support Flow would have likely required less head count.

    Also, do you know how much of Radar is based on BB10?
    10-31-17 04:52 PM
  13. app_Developer's Avatar
    Moving the Android Player to support Flow would have likely required less head count.
    But at that point, you might as well just dump Neutrino (which made no sense to begin with), put Linux back and call it a day. That’s not a new OS. That’s just Android with swipe gestures. They could do that today if they wanted on BB Android. It may break apps, though, that depend on those swipes to mean other things in the app.

    Also, do you know how much of Radar is based on BB10?
    Do you? I doubt it’s very much. No need for a high power SoC. No need for Cascades. No need for Qt even. No swipes to be seen anywhere.
    10-31-17 05:07 PM
  14. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Moving the Android Player to support Flow would have likely required less head count.

    Also, do you know how much of Radar is based on BB10?
    No idea. 0%-100%. What does that matter? No one is arguing that Chen didn't salvage what he could. What you're arguing is a strategy that diverted any needed cash to support the strategy undertaken to a different strategy. Chen had one chance to get it right and he chose most likely, the only scenario that would have been successful.

    You're designing a scenario with the POSSIBLE benefit of hindsight while refusing to acknowledge how dire the company situation was at time. If your scenario offered the ability of success with fewer job losses or better chances of success, Chen and the board would have implemented. The BOD and Chen wanted the win and they had everything to lose. You're armchair quarterbacking the next day with nothing to lose. Whatever decisions made, BB creditors had to agree too or force BB into bankruptcy LIQUIDATION.

    Your arguments basically are the proverbial rearranging the deck chairs on Titanic and Chen with the BOD saved Titanic. Face it, the survivors (employees) at risk, don't care about your hypotheticals.
    glwerry likes this.
    10-31-17 05:13 PM
  15. conite's Avatar
    So @DonHB, have we finally put this to bed?

    Do we agree that Chen was hired specifically to save the company from imminent bankruptcy by shuttering devices after burning through commitments and contracts?

    Do we agree that not one more dollar or second was going to be put into BB10 (or any other nonsense based on Neutrino) that wasn't absolutely necessary to complete said goal?
    glwerry likes this.
    10-31-17 05:39 PM
  16. Invictus0's Avatar
    When he became CEO he had the full head count and the top people at QNX.
    No he didn't,

    https://www.theverge.com/2013/9/20/4...and-enterprise

    ...by shuttering devices after burning through commitments and contracts?
    By all accounts he was hired to grow BlackBerry's software business and see if hardware could become profitable again (otherwise he'd let it go, which he did).
    10-31-17 06:31 PM
  17. conite's Avatar
    By all accounts he was hired to grow BlackBerry's software business and see if hardware could become profitable again (otherwise he'd let it go, which he did).
    That may have been the impression they were trying to convey (in order to sell what they were committed to producing), but clearly that's not what they were doing. They spent almost zero resources on it because they weren't stupid and knew it was a lost cause. Hindsight is 20/20.
    10-31-17 06:43 PM
  18. Invictus0's Avatar
    That may have been the impression they were trying to convey (in order to sell what they were committed to producing), but clearly that's not what they were doing. They spent almost zero resources on it because they weren't stupid and knew it was a lost cause. Hindsight is 20/20.
    They certainly did invest in devices, just not as much as they used to and with more of a focus on the enterprise market. Remember, after Chen joined they hired Ron Louks (a former HTC/Sony guy), announced a partnership with Foxconn, and updated BB10 to support the Snapdragon 400, 800 (for the Z50/Ontario), and 801 (one would assume this included additional SOC purchases as well). They also partnered with app developers and hired a new marketing company to help launch the Passport and Classic.

    If they simply wanted to get rid of their existing S4 purchases there are certainly cheaper and more efficient ways to do that. Hardware dying a slow death over ~4 years didn't do them any favours publicly or financially.
    10-31-17 07:08 PM
  19. conite's Avatar
    They certainly did invest in devices, just not as much as they used to and with more of a focus on the enterprise market. Remember, after Chen joined they hired Ron Louks (a former HTC/Sony guy), announced a partnership with Foxconn, and updated BB10 to support the Snapdragon 400, 800 (for the Z50/Ontario), and 801 (one would assume this included additional SOC purchases as well). They also partnered with app developers and hired a new marketing company to help launch the Passport and Classic.

    If they simply wanted to get rid of their existing S4 purchases there are certainly cheaper and more efficient ways to do that. Hardware dying a slow death over ~4 years didn't do them any favours publicly or financially.
    They had committed to the Passport/801 prior to Chen. I suspect that was part of the Qualcomm settlement.
    10-31-17 07:13 PM
  20. Invictus0's Avatar
    They had committed to the 801 prior to Chen.

    Louks was brought on board to find cheaper ways of delivering the required devices.
    Source? The 801 is a 2014 SOC, it wasn't even announced until sometime in 2014.

    If they simply wanted to cut costs then it's overkill to hire someone like Louks who oversaw HTC and Sony during some of their best years.
    10-31-17 07:23 PM
  21. conite's Avatar
    Source? The 801 is a 2014 SOC, it wasn't even announced until sometime in 2014.

    If they simply wanted to cut costs then it's overkill to hire someone like Louks who oversaw HTC and Sony during some of their best years.
    The Passport was not Chen. For sure. That's been documented here. Thorsten may have committed to an upcoming SoC.
    10-31-17 07:24 PM
  22. thurask's Avatar
    Source? The 801 is a 2014 SOC, it wasn't even announced until sometime in 2014.

    If they simply wanted to cut costs then it's overkill to hire someone like Louks who oversaw HTC and Sony during some of their best years.
    He meant 800; there's been at least three quad-core BB10 devices floating around the OS since 10.0 at least, the AQ-series (Z30 quad core, canned), the O-series (Ontario, canned), and the W-series (Windermere, Passport).
    10-31-17 07:26 PM
  23. Invictus0's Avatar
    The Passport was not Chen. For sure. That's been documented here. Thorsten may have committed to an upcoming SoC.
    Yeah the Passport was in development before or around the time Chen joined but that doesn't mean the 801 was the chosen SOC for it, or that they had already purchased it.
    10-31-17 07:26 PM
  24. conite's Avatar
    Yeah the Passport was in development before or around the time Chen joined but that doesn't mean the 801 was the chosen SOC for it, or that they had already purchased it.
    They must have committed to the imminent successor of the 800.
    10-31-17 07:29 PM
  25. Invictus0's Avatar
    He meant 800; there's been at least three quad-core BB10 devices floating around the OS since 10.0 at least, the AQ-series (Z30 quad core, canned), the O-series (Ontario, canned), and the W-series (Windermere, Passport).
    The 800 seems right to me as well, it was a ~2013 chip so it's not unreasonable to assume they may have purchased some.
    10-31-17 07:29 PM
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