Did RIM half-CEO Jim Balsillie’s hockey obsession kill the company?

“When Apple introduced the iPhone to the world in January 2007, Research In Motion dismissed the device as a competitive threat, or so we would learn later,” Eric Jackson writes for TheStreet. “Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis stated internally, according to reports, that no one would want the equivalent of a personal computer on a phone. People just wanted an email messaging device, he asserted — a worldview shaped by the company he’d built.”

“But the death knell for RIM probably came earlier, on Oct. 5, 2006. That was the day the other RIM co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, bid $185 million to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins,” Jackson writes. “That bid began a childish, multiyear quest by Balsillie to buy a hockey team, which diverted his focus from the core RIM business”

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Jackson writes, “RIM’s competitive position today is arguably unfixable because of Balsillie’s quixotic quest.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pucksilly. One half-CEO had his head in the sand and the other half had his on ice. With Apple instantly turning the game upside down and inside out, RIM was doomed to fail.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “qka” for the heads up.]


  1. im not even sure WHY theyre losing. their “competence” is in enterprise exchange corporate (and gov) email, right? my gov agency will still only allow BBs (got in trouble myself for trying to use email on the iph4) and theyve a choke hold on it. the IT people here tell me that it will be a while if ever that they allow iPhones on the exchange server. so shouldnt they just concentrate on their “strength” and they should survive for a while, right? at least until Apple improves their security to gov “standards”? is this naive?

    1. No, but it doesn’t sound like they’re doing that either. Sounds like they’re now trying to beat Apple – which will probably take their eye off of Enterprise.

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