1. Tatwi's Avatar
    I really don't understand why RIM/BB insist on buying companies rather than just contracting their services. It's sad what they have done to several of the companies/products that they have purchased, with TAT and QNX being the biggest examples.

    I realize that acquisition is a standard business tactic used by everyone from Microsoft to Burger King, but no one kills an acquired product quite like RIM/BB. So I wonder why they don't just make contacts with companies rather than making the bullish move of buying them and then fail to really make something of them. Poor management? Hubris? Lack of vision and long term planning?

    TAT is probably the saddest example, because it's clear that it was a management problem. The majority of the talent from TAT left shortly after RIM bought TAT and what did those talented people do? They immediately made another company exactly like TAT. What does that new company do? They do OS and development tool chain work ON CONTRACT. Why would the TAT people want to leave? Probably because of management issues, such as differences in vision, goals, management style, etc. Had RIM just contracted TAT for BlackBerry 10, chances are BB10 would have worked as well for RIM as Tizen has for Samsung, in terms of contract completion. There was no reason to gut TAT just to make BB10.

    RIM / BlackBerry seem like, from the outside looking in at what they have accomplished with their acquisitions, a company that doesn't have what it takes to deserve to buy out other companies. They should really stop doing it and just contract with the companies who offer products or services they would like to use.

    Posted via CB10
    09-28-15 12:38 PM
  2. Blacklatino's Avatar
    Well, damn. Seems that way. Their track record speaks for itself.
    09-28-15 01:15 PM
  3. eldricho's Avatar
    Yeah it's pretty sad to have seen companies and their expertise dissolve completely after acquisition. Some of them even turned out to be a waste of money, like Scoreloop. Bought, had some barebones use (most likely due to the app problem) and dissappeared forever into a abyss.

    Posted via CB10
    09-28-15 01:21 PM
  4. mathking606's Avatar
    Not just BlackBerry. Hp and palm

    Posted via CB10
    09-28-15 01:23 PM
  5. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    The issue is that, the bigger and more successful a company gets, the more bloated and bureaucratic they get, and the more conservative they get (and BB was already all of those things to the max), so when they bring in a fresh group of creative thinkers, the first thing they do is try to rein them in, create a ton of structure and processes and layers of management around them, and make sure they aren't too disruptive to the rest of the company. Of course, that's because none of the bureaucrats realize, or care, that disruption is the whole reason that group was brought in in the first place. Bureaucrats primarily only care about maintaining or growing their own power-base, and middle/upper management tends to be full of them.

    Unless you have a CEO that has vision and is both strongly committed to it AND has the charisma/strength-of-will to bring people aboard that vision (Steve Jobs is the best example of this, but you could say this for Page/Brin, Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos as well), then you aren't likely going to protect your group of creative people from the bureaucrats and red tape, and before long, they'll run out the door.

    Too many people in business don't grasp the fact that buying, say, a manufacturing company is very different than buying a software company. In a manufacturing company, the machines won't get bored and leave for greener pastures, and workers can be replaced without too much hassle. In a software company, or some other creative type of company, the company's value is in the brain-output of (usually) a few key people, who need to be motivated. If the motivation goes way, then their output sours or ceases, and often they'll leave as soon as their acquisition contract expires - and all of the value goes right out the door with them.

    This is why Google, Facebook, and other silicon valley companies have tons of "non-work" activities, whacky office decor, and crazy benefits - they're trying to keep people's creative side happy and motivated, because happy, motivated creative people can generate big value, and if they aren't happy and motivated, they leave.
    09-28-15 01:26 PM
  6. Tatwi's Avatar
    Some good insights there, Troy. Thanks for the post.

    Posted via CB10
    09-28-15 05:13 PM
  7. mithrazor's Avatar
    QNX is doing pretty well. Even better maybe. That's one acquisition I think BlackBerry is capitalizing on.

    TAT died, they had some neat new never been done before creativity come out when BB10 came out. They had a good start. But the talent was constrained too much.

    TAT developed conceptual stuff. BlackBerry just needed their UI on BB10 developed. Hence the TOPP guys left, they would have been stuck on the same ol' no room for experimentation type company work culture.

    Also BlackBerry's financial situation didn't help. They had to shut majority of the companies they bought down.

    Posted via CB10
    09-28-15 05:48 PM
  8. anon(8865116)'s Avatar
    Troy pretty much nailed it on the head. I feel like the only thing he didn't touch on was the mass layoffs. You have corporate red tape AND the hysteria around potentially losing your job. You think creative people are bummed about not having senior leadership listen, just add on some potential job loss in there to quell the innovation.

    Honestly speaking, the past couple of quarters have been pretty brutal from a share price, employee, and brand perspective. I'm not even hyped about the slider anymore because it feels like JC is the only one left running the company. For you guys still working there, I hope you can tough it out and really return the brand to what it was. Chen, embrace creativity and disruptive ideas even in a turn around. Sales are definitely important but if you can't deliver on innovation and solid product reliability, software isn't going to be your saving grace, especially when competitors are giving it away for free at scale
    09-28-15 08:29 PM
  9. anon(2313227)'s Avatar
    I can think of a few contracted services that didn't do well either. Like Music, videos, etc... the problem with contracting it out is that you can't control what those people do other then what is in the contract(agree to terms).
    It also limits what you can say no-one else can contract with that company, like Scolado.
    When you buy it out you control all aspect and you can integrate features better like JCUT.
    09-28-15 08:38 PM
  10. app_Developer's Avatar
    For BB to make their software revenue targets, they have to acquire more companies. Chen has already said they can't grow quickly enough organically.

    Sent from my iPhone 6S using Tapatalk
    09-28-15 08:38 PM
  11. ljfong's Avatar
    Sounds like EA where rock star game studios go to die.
    Troy Tiscareno likes this.
    09-28-15 10:16 PM

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