Last week Blackberry reported its quaterly earnings and it made for painful reading – revenue in Q4 of $4.2 bn, down 25 per cent from $5.6 bn in the same quarter of 2011 – and market share is now 9%, down from its peak of 21% back in 3Q 2009.
As my twitter friend @andrewarmour commented:
“Number: 1000. Approximately how many business days took for RIM’s share price to fall from its 2008 high of $140 – to today’s $14.”
Grim, but its not all bad news – the annual UK Superbrand ratings have just come out – Blackberry are still up there at number 23 in the Business brands – but clearly there is a gap between perceptions behind the brand and the actions and choices people are taking in buying the offering.
No one ‘owns’ their market but the Blackberry diversion from greatness is spectacular. That said, Nokia must be grateful to them from the diversion from their own plight as the sands shift for some handset makers.
We live in interesting times.
Lessons from the Hoff
A few years ago Reid Hoffman – the builder of LinkedIn and Paypal gave some great advice to new business grads at a talk at Stanford: Go and get yourself a job at a failing company. The lack competition for the flop business unit means you get into a position that gives you the experience you need as a leader and manager – hiring, P&L management, planning software distribution – all the experience you need.
Hoffman got his first break at Apple in the eWorld product group but later went to Fujitsu, knowing the programme he lead was screwed. Whilst the business failed Hoffman got his strips in General Management, and so could evidence to the VC’s he was safe hands for their money. Very smart move by the big guy.
Disrupt yourself before we do it to you
With Blackberrys fall from grace and dead – or aged – wood being culled, the CV’s from future leaders should be flying through the doors. Its a smart and strategic move to work there – not many other folks would want to be in a sinking ship – job competition is low – Blackberry is a great place to look for a break right now.
Anyone fancy a challenge? Would you buy a stamp – and stick your CV in the post?
Anyone fancy ignoring Blackberry’s focus on its laggard corporate sector and start flirting with the complex world of consumers whims – and potentially the huge growth in serving a youth segment. Leveraging the mass adoption of Blackberry Messenger by GenY, the millennial generation, the digital natives and call upon the loyalty and permission these users have granted you to serve the next generation of social communicators?
I would say that everyone should want what Blackberry has – but persistently fails to understand – the next wave of loyalty and more than a lifeline.
Sure you have to discount handsets – your disrupting your own business model – but isn’t thats what innovation is?
Sounds fun to me.