02-08-12 07:37 AM
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  1. Jawbone220's Avatar
    Interesting article I read courtesy of TREFIS while browsing my shares of RIMM. Thought I'd pass it on.

    https://www.etrade.wallst.com/v1/sto...bols=undefined


    Netflix is Fried, RIM is Toast And Heres Why You May be Wrong
    12:50 PM ET 1/31/12 | TREFIS

    When you believe Netflix (NFLX) is fried, and RIM (RIMM) is toast, it is worth considering that there is a chance, just a possibility, the problem may be that you havent factored the entrepreneurs behind these companies and what they can do.

    We love to extrapolate, and forecasting is important. However, we often use our own understanding of what is doable, rather than thinking carefully about the magicians behind the magic performed to date.

    Entrepreneurs are different beasts, they dont think linearly. Survival, combat, and springing back is second nature to them. Chances are the entrepreneur who has built a $1 billion dollar business from scratch, or even a $100 million dollar business from scratch, has way, way more non-linear thinking, and springing-back capabilities than you and I can ever imagine.

    Interviews dont teach a reporter those skills, and watching the entrepreneur as an investor doesnt teach those skills either. Earning a large paycheck at a big company and growing a business is, well, different. Spending a month with the entrepreneur might help you appreciate some of what they can do, however, it doesnt cut it either. The truth is, there is no royal path to learning what people like Reed Hastings and Mike Laziridis have learnt the hard way.

    In fact, at Trefis we forecast trends all day long to build an understanding of the intrinsic value estimate of a company. My hope is, consistent with Trefis mission, my views here will provide a lens into better business decision making, when analyzing entrepreneurial companies.

    So when someone writes about RIM is toast, or Netflix will never bounce back, I wonder about the linearity in thinking. I wonder about the gross simplification and lack of understanding that thinking reflects of the entrepreneurial process and the entrepreneurs behind these companies.

    These people are hardened, they have earned that capability time and again, to fight back, to get up after they fall, and fall big. They have not done it once, but twice, thrice and more times than I have fingers on my hands.

    But wait, you and I will say I am seeing them fall, and look they appear awkward this time around, and look the number of subscribers are falling, and look at the rising content acquisition cost, and look at how cool Apples iPhone is, and look at the rising adoption of Googles Android, Europe is a problem along with other macro headwinds, and look their key guy just left . and we will want to extrapolate.

    But that is what makes these people different they have learned how to fly back, out of free fall, and from cliffs so steep you and I havent dared to look down. Hastings looks to be already working his magic as Netflix posted a rebound in subscriptions in the most recent quarter to the surprise of many. While Laziridis has stepped down and handed the reins to one of his top lieutenants, he remains a large shareholder and no doubt will be instrumental in RIMs recovery efforts in the coming years.

    So pause, reflect, and think about these top class entrepreneurs, their early teams before you go short that stock, or bet your time and money against their businesses.

    It doesnt come easy to them. They dont take it lightly when they hear RIM is toast and Netflix is fried, and they are flexing the same thought process right now that they have so mastered in building their billion dollar companies from scratch.

    Their blood boils, and the worst externally, might bring the best out of them one more time, just like it has numerous times in the past. If you wish, sure go ahead and bet against them, but I do think exercising thought, caution, and a bit of non-linear thinking will help. There are magical people behind these companies and I am not just talking their leaders, I am talking their entire early teams. They all have something we need to at least start dreaming about.
    02-01-12 01:24 AM
  2. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    Ich bin ein Entrepreneur !

    Nice article, thanks for sharing.
    02-01-12 01:47 AM
  3. Dapper37's Avatar
    Good read..
    02-01-12 04:03 AM
  4. jimmyfallon's Avatar
    interesting
    02-01-12 04:08 AM
  5. newcollector's Avatar
    The article really does highlight that amazing ability of the entrepenuer to visualize and to respond to adversity.
    02-01-12 06:19 AM
  6. mjs416's Avatar
    I think a good example of this dynamic is Netflix. Was just reading an article yesterday how Netflix lost 600,000 subscribers Q4 of 2011 but gained 800,000 subscribers thus ending the year higher than forcasted. These even despite the debacle that the CEO created by renaming and then deciding not to rename services and compartmentalizing the streaming / DVD parts of the company.

    Until the company is officially re-organizing and liquidating assets - I dont think you can count any large business out like that.
    02-01-12 06:42 AM
  7. LoganSix's Avatar
    Until the company is officially re-organizing and liquidating assets - I dont think you can count any large business out like that.
    Seriously. But if only we had an example of a company that was losing business rapidly due to lack of innovation, was bleeding to the point it had to take money from it's main competitor in order stay afloat, then came roaring back and makes tons of money today. If ONLY there was an example like this, it would make people realize that a company that is bringing in $1 billion every 3 months and increasing market share overseas really isn't in such bad shape. Man, if there was just ONE example of a turn around like that. Oh well.
    02-01-12 06:55 AM
  8. BeyondSora's Avatar
    Seriously. But if only we had an example of a company that was losing business rapidly due to lack of innovation, was bleeding to the point it had to take money from it's main competitor in order stay afloat, then came roaring back and makes tons of money today. If ONLY there was an example like this, it would make people realize that a company that is bringing in $1 billion every 3 months and increasing market share overseas really isn't in such bad shape. Man, if there was just ONE example of a turn around like that. Oh well.

    I think you meant Apple? ;p

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
    02-01-12 07:38 AM
  9. Economist101's Avatar
    Seriously. But if only we had an example of a company that was losing business rapidly due to lack of innovation, was bleeding to the point it had to take money from it's main competitor in order stay afloat, then came roaring back and makes tons of money today. If ONLY there was an example like this, it would make people realize that a company that is bringing in $1 billion every 3 months and increasing market share overseas really isn't in such bad shape. Man, if there was just ONE example of a turn around like that. Oh well.
    Unfortunately, that company rebounded by bringing back its founder, not replacing him with someone else. Also, that company rebounded by entering new markets, as its primary business never really recovered what it lost. So, in order to mimic that company, RIM will need to push into new markets, all behind a guy who didn't build RIM into a billion-dollar company in the first place.
    02-01-12 07:45 AM
  10. LoganSix's Avatar
    Unfortunately, that company rebounded by bringing back its founder, not replacing him with someone else. Also, that company rebounded by entering new markets, as its primary business never really recovered what it lost. So, in order to mimic that company, RIM will need to push into new markets, all behind a guy who didn't build RIM into a billion-dollar company in the first place.
    Or, now that the founder is no longer with that company, then the inevitable demise of that company is in the nearer future. And with the demise of that company, it would leave RIM to gain market share by taking back what it had before previously non-mentioned company came into that market place. And I guess not noting that QNX is currently in most automotive applications neglects to acknowledge RIMs entrance into other markets.


    But, you apparently forgot to remember the push of a certain product that was paper thin like by non-said company. So, it wasn't like they abandoned their original market place at all. They in fact made significant inroads in the education field with the push of those and other similar devices pertaining to their original market place after the saving from irrelevance by their lead competitor.
    purijagmohan likes this.
    02-01-12 08:09 AM
  11. mjs416's Avatar
    Or, now that the founder is no longer with that company, then the inevitable demise of that company is in the nearer future. And with the demise of that company, it would leave RIM to gain market share by taking back what it had before previously non-mentioned company came into that market place. And I guess not noting that QNX is currently in most automotive applications neglects to acknowledge RIMs entrance into other markets.


    But, you apparently forgot to remember the push of a certain product that was paper thin like by non-said company. So, it wasn't like they abandoned their original market place at all. They in fact made significant inroads in the education field with the push of those and other similar devices pertaining to their original market place after the saving from irrelevance by their lead competitor.
    He who shall not be named...lol
    02-01-12 08:15 AM
  12. Economist101's Avatar
    Or, now that the founder is no longer with that company, then the inevitable demise of that company is in the nearer future. And with the demise of that company, it would leave RIM to gain market share by taking back what it had before previously non-mentioned company came into that market place. And I guess not noting that QNX is currently in most automotive applications neglects to acknowledge RIMs entrance into other markets.


    But, you apparently forgot to remember the push of a certain product that was paper thin like by non-said company. So, it wasn't like they abandoned their original market place at all. They in fact made significant inroads in the education field with the push of those and other similar devices pertaining to their original market place after the saving from irrelevance by their lead competitor.
    I think both companies are no longer led by their founders. The difference is that SJ never ran Apple into the ground. Also, though Apple never "abandoned" computers, their presence in computers has never been the same, which is what I wrote.

    So which new markets will RIM enter? Most of Apple revenue comes from markets they've entered in the last 5 years.
    02-01-12 08:36 AM
  13. palmless's Avatar
    Seriously. But if only we had an example of a company that was losing business rapidly due to lack of innovation, was bleeding to the point it had to take money from it's main competitor in order stay afloat, then came roaring back and makes tons of money today. If ONLY there was an example like this, it would make people realize that a company that is bringing in $1 billion every 3 months and increasing market share overseas really isn't in such bad shape. Man, if there was just ONE example of a turn around like that. Oh well.
    We should start calling this the "Michael Holmes" plan.

    Michael Holmes fell 12,000 feet from a plane without a parachute and lived.

    Therefore, anyone falling from a plane without a parachute should not be concerned. Michael Holmes did it.
    02-01-12 08:36 AM
  14. LoganSix's Avatar
    I think both companies are no longer led by their founders. The difference is that SJ never ran Apple into the ground. Also, though Apple never "abandoned" computers, their presence in computers has never been the same, which is what I wrote.

    So which new markets will RIM enter? Most of Apple revenue comes from markets they've entered in the last 5 years.

    It depends on what you consider the iPad. The Netwon was a tablet before tablets were tablets. Therefor, the iPad is not a new market. So, if you look at the iPad and the laptops as part of the PC realm, which analyst do, then Apple is the leading PC maker in the world as of Q4 2011. However, the record Mac sales reported in January show that Apple's share is the highest it has been in 15 years. So, by moving to OSX, Apple did manage to increase it's very small market share in the PC segment.

    When RIM bought QNX, it entered the automotive market as QNX provides the OS for a lot of automotive applications. Not to mention that QNX has been around for longer than Apple.

    RIM is also getting into the Music provider market and other social markets, which for some reason are worth about $10 billion in one case.
    02-01-12 08:54 AM
  15. LoganSix's Avatar
    The difference is that SJ never ran Apple into the ground.
    Apple made the right decision when it canned Steve Jobs in 1985
    A memo from marketing director Mike Murray to Apple execs captures what Apple was like at the time:

    "In my three years at Apple, Ive never observed so much confusion, fear, and dysfunction as in the past 90 days ... We are perceived by the rank and file as a boat without a rudder, drifting away into foggy oblivion ... Whether the cause of or because of the dysfunction, Steve Jobs now controls a seemingly impenetrable power base."

    Read more: Apple Made The Right Decision When It Canned Steve Jobs In 1985 - Business Insider

    How Steve Jobs got fired from his own company
    Jobs was Apple's chief visionary, a role that put him in charge of the team developing Apple's next revolutionary product, the Macintosh computer. The Mac debuted in 1984 to rave reviews but disappointing sales, putting a financial strain on the company - and fraying Jobs' relationship with Sculley.
    02-01-12 09:02 AM
  16. BergerKing's Avatar
    Gee, RIM's woes remind me a lot of my battle with cancer 13 years ago. My ex was calling Social Security to find out how much she was gonna get when I croaked. The Docs were telling me they didn't know why I was alive, and they were asking me if I wanted a DNR order. The vultures were circling with BBQ sauce and a gleam in their eyes, and all hope was lost.

    I looked the Green Ripper dead on and said 'Not yet'....

    No, they aren't riding the crest right now, but if they time it right, a big storm is way out to sea, so paddle hard, 'cause the waves are coming.
    02-01-12 09:16 AM
  17. BergerKing's Avatar
    Hmm, why do those stories look vaguely .... familiar?
    02-01-12 09:18 AM
  18. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    I think both companies are no longer led by their founders. The difference is that SJ never ran Apple into the ground. Also, though Apple never "abandoned" computers, their presence in computers has never been the same, which is what I wrote.

    So which new markets will RIM enter? Most of Apple revenue comes from markets they've entered in the last 5 years.
    Are you seriouly saying that SJ never ran Apple to the ground ?
    I mean ... really ?
    It's time your read at least the first half of his bio ... urgent !
    Last edited by Superfly_FR; 02-01-12 at 11:23 AM.
    Thunderbuck and alnamvet68 like this.
    02-01-12 11:19 AM
  19. alnamvet68's Avatar
    Are you seriouly saying that SJ never ran Apple to the ground ?
    I mean ... really ?
    It's time your read at least the first half of his bio ... urgent !
    It was SJ's trashing of Apple back then that has me sitting pretty on a nice chunk of green Granny Smith Apple money today.
    02-01-12 11:29 AM
  20. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    It was SJ's trashing of Apple back then that has me sitting pretty on a nice chunk of green Granny Smith Apple money today.
    If I understand correctly what you're writing (sorry but I'm afraid I could badly translate), maybe should I have quoted like this :
    Are you serioulsy saying that SJ never ran Apple to the ground ?
    As my point is : never say a comeback is impossible.
    02-01-12 11:39 AM
  21. jthep's Avatar
    Apple is a unique story, lets not pretend every company becomes the most valuable in world at some point in their history.

    But forget Apple's success for a second, RIM's failures of late, and Google's surging Android OS. Smartphones unlike PC's are a relatively new and still rapidly growing industry. My own belief is that losing market share is not as big a deal as analysts make it out to be when the business model itself is still expanding rapidly.

    Think about it, what is more profitable 30% market share of 10 million users or 10% of 100 million users? I mean those are completely arbitrary numbers, but my point is lower market share doesn't always mean lower profits going forward for such an expanding business.

    I know RIM has cut forecasts, doesn't get carrier subsidies as big as Apple for each phone sold, and has a bit of an identity crisis and damaged reputation with American consumers, but despite all of that, are there not still 75 million BB users worldwide? Are BB's still not the QWERTY keyboard king of smartphones?

    I would like to see every BB have a QWERTY keyboard, but I am seeing the first BB10 phone, London, is all touch? I know RIM wants to compete with the other companies, but with slews of new all touch phones coming out every month from every manufacturer under the sun and improving tech all the time like an arms race, why try to outduel the world?

    I think RIM's niche should be quality QWERTY keyboard based phones with touch screens. There will always be a market for that niche and it could be a very big niche if marketed a bit better. Blackberry should equal great keyboards, not poor man iPhone or Droid X, or Evo's with imitated form factors.

    I mean I have seen marketing recently mocking Apple crowds camping out and waiting on line for an inferior device. Good commercials, making a case for an competitors product over an Apple product. What does RIM do? Lame ads like "superapps", "love" with BBM, glowing neon bikes, a young professional going to a concert throwing his phone in the air and catching it, and don't get me started on the the Playbook ads.

    Point is RIM could build a very big and successful niche of phones that can be touted as having the absolute best QWERTY keyboards for people that like to text, email, etc. Maybe even show how lame texting is on all touch phones that require much more concentration? I dunno, I am not marketing wiz, but jeez, something showing BB as a solid alternative to all touch phones instead of attempting to imitate them?

    Why would anyone buy a BB without a keyboard is beyond me? It would be like going on vacation in Orlando Florida and not visiting a single theme park...
    cntrydncr223 likes this.
    02-01-12 08:42 PM
  22. LoganSix's Avatar
    Apple is a unique story, lets not pretend every company becomes the most valuable in world at some point in their history.
    I agree with your post, but wanted to point out that many companies have had a down turn and managed to reverse perceptions to be profitable again.

    My major annoyance is that people compare RIM to Palm or other companies that
    1. Had debt
    2. Were losing money
    3. Didn't have anything in the pipeline for making a change


    All this is is marketing. The only reason iPhone is where it is is marketing. They sold an inferior product with a beautiful interface that makes people feel like they are cool. Android is the same thing, it makes people feel like they are cool. BlackBerry used to be there. The term CrackBerry wasn't invented on this site.

    So, all RIM has to do is bring out the new phones and doing much better at marketing BlackBerry as a whole.
    02-02-12 07:17 AM
  23. mjs416's Avatar
    Dont expect any further arguments Logan - you owned them thar trolls pretty bad.
    02-02-12 08:27 AM
  24. Dapper37's Avatar
    I agree with your post, but wanted to point out that many companies have had a down turn and managed to reverse perceptions to be profitable again.

    My major annoyance is that people compare RIM to Palm or other companies that
    1. Had debt
    2. Were losing money
    3. Didn't have anything in the pipeline for making a change


    All this is is marketing. The only reason iPhone is where it is is marketing. They sold an inferior product with a beautiful interface that makes people feel like they are cool. Android is the same thing, it makes people feel like they are cool. BlackBerry used to be there. The term CrackBerry wasn't invented on this site.



    So, all RIM has to do is bring out the new phones and doing much better at marketing BlackBerry as a whole.
    Straight up.
    02-02-12 08:53 AM
  25. HeezyBear's Avatar
    I agree with your post, but wanted to point out that many companies have had a down turn and managed to reverse perceptions to be profitable again.

    My major annoyance is that people compare RIM to Palm or other companies that
    1. Had debt
    2. Were losing money
    3. Didn't have anything in the pipeline for making a change


    All this is is marketing. The only reason iPhone is where it is is marketing. They sold an inferior product with a beautiful interface that makes people feel like they are cool. Android is the same thing, it makes people feel like they are cool. BlackBerry used to be there. The term CrackBerry wasn't invented on this site.

    So, all RIM has to do is bring out the new phones and doing much better at marketing BlackBerry as a whole.
    Really? Just marketing? Will better marketing for the BlackBerry make it easier to develop quality apps on par with their iPhone counterparts? Will better marketing make BlackBerry cameras better? Will better marketing stop users from having to do battery pulls? Will better marketing make the OS more fluid?
    02-02-12 08:57 AM
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