Gassée: ‘The inmates have taken over the asylum’ at BlackBerry-maker RIM

“Between February 1999 and June 2008, RIM stock gained $143/share, a rise of 7,793%,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note.

“But… RIM lost 11.23% of its value in one session, this past Friday March 25th,” Gassée writes. “Why? As often, the answer is a combination: underlying trends + a trigger event.”

• The trigger event was RIM’s release of its latest quarterly numbers
• RIM reigned at a time when your Blackberry came with everything you needed
• RIM’s management consists of two CEOs and tree COOs
• PlayBook can’t compare favorably to the competition

Gassée writes, “No one could fault RIM for the ‘iPad surprise.’ After decades of misbegotten tablets, no one was prepared for the rise of the new genre.”

MacDailyNews Take: Alan Kay could: “Make the screen five inches by eight inches, and you’ll rule the world.” – Alan Kay to Steve Jobs, after seeing the iPhone, January 2007. Of course, Steve Jobs knew that, as the iPad was conceived before the iPhone. Plus, anyone who really listens to what Steve Jobs says should’ve had a clue long ago: “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing.” – Steve Jobs, February 19, 1996

Gassée continues, “Reacting quickly, not wanting Apple to gain too much of a market stronghold makes business sense. But launching what is clearly an immature product and trying to compensate for a dearth of applications with a misleading claim of compatibility with the wrong version of Android is insane. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first render mad…”

Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Deus Ex Technica” for the heads up.]


  1. Just like my Company, it is clear that these executives don’t want bad news, and they have surrounded themselves with people who, not only will not deliver the bad news, but kiss up and tell them how great they are and how great the products in the pipe line are.

    Clearly, like Microsoft, these exec’s have lost touch with reality, have lost their way, and accordingly, each company will simply, quarter after quarter, start delivering very mediocre news as they slash development budgets, cheapen products by reducing cost, all to save the bottom line, when in fact they should be milking the heck out of the old BB and developing the next great product. If they can’t do the OS, then they should jump on windows or android and do their best to compete before it’s too late.

  2. “RIM’s management consists of two CEOs and tree COOs”.

    Of course that might not help but, it helped before! It is only after the company could not match the competition that people starts pointing fingers.

    Reallity is…. It is not about the number of CEOs or COOs but about the capability of those people. It doesn’t matter how many CEOs a company puts/has in place, it could be only one and still be a complete failure. Want some examples? Ask Bill Gates, Motorola Mobility, or Larry Page. Just to mention a few “contemporary” ones.

    Interesting, right?

      1. Yo Bizlaw: I installed Glims and can find nary a mention of any setting that would stop these blinking ads. Were you thinking of some other plug-in? Click to Flash doesn’t stop the blinking either.

  3. Even more telling is Alan Kay’s vision of the DynaBook in 1968. I’m proud to say I met him when he worked for Atari when he came to speak at our S*P*A*C*E user group meeting bringing the ROM listing for the Atari 800.

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