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Goodbye Blackberry, We Hardly Knew Ye

Date posted: October 8, 2013

In a recent post, we speculated on when the leveraging of big data for mobile marketing purposes would enter the B2B realm. A recent post— an autopsy really— by Timothy B. Lee in the Washington Post’s The Switch blog speaks to the rapid consumerization of IT and its far-reaching impact in business and for businesses.

In a comment headed “What Killed Blackberry?” Lee details the demise of the once dominant smartphone manufacturer:

BlackBerry confirmed today what industry watchers had long assumed to be true: the company is in a death spiral. The firm expects its second-quarter losses to be almost a billion dollars on revenues of $1.6 billion. These massive losses have forced equally large layoffs. The company will give pink slips to 4,500 people, 40 percent of the company’s workforce.

It’s hard to remember now, but just four years ago BlackBerry (then called Research in Motion) was the second most popular smartphone vendor after Nokia. Market share was rising and profits were high.

We remember.

There was a time when having a Blackberry in hand accorded a certain status to its user— that status being corporate success or value. There was a time that having a Blackberry was almost like having stock options.

There’s a irony not to be missed in the fact that the corporate IT departments Blackberry rode to its lofty status on eventually had to capitulate to the consumer revolution wrought by the iPhone, ownership of which accords no particular status that we see, based on the fact that nearly everyone in our local coffee shop seems to have one.

Goodbye, Blackberry; we hardly knew ye. We’ll file you away with our other memories, like the rotary phone.