Blackberry: A Lesson On How Not To Run A Business
Back before the iPhone and Android, Blackberry was the big story in mobile. It had all of the government contracts, and most large enterprises used a Blackberry system. They had top notch messaging and high end security. Now, Blackberry is a tiny version of what it used to be. Today the company announced it will lay off 4,500 employees and completely exit the consumer market. So what happened?
The story of Blackberry is complex and the failures it has encountered in the past couple of years can't be explained by a few handy bullet points, but there were some patterns that greatly contributed. First, as the iPhone and Android came out, Blackberry didn't change and adapt. They sat on their laurels for far too long, figuring their product was fine the way it was, without listening to consumer feedback. As people left them for iPhone and Android, it took them years to finally react and release Blackberry 10, the first real smartphone the company made that could compete. But by then, it was too late.
Another issue was clearly management. Blackberry went through so many executives, it makes startups look stable. None of their moves lately had been successful, and they didn't seem to understand sexy marketing the way Apple and Google did. The company tried to launch the Playbook and failed, and then tried the Blackberry Z10, and that too seems to have failed. So the result is a $1 billion loss in the last quarter, which leads to what the company announced today. Now it appears for the future we may no longer see Blackberry as a competitor in the various stores, with them focusing only on the enterprise side.