(The following post is in response to a Huffington Post article published on 09/13/16)
Dear Mr. Finch and Mr. DePaul,
I read your article, “Don’t Let Yourself (Or Your Kid) Be The Next BlackBerry” this morning and felt compelled to respond. As a father, I agree that kids should “recognize the value of life beyond their grades” and “invest in different dimensions of their life.” Where I disagree with you, is the thought that kids shouldn’t be like BlackBerry.
The notion of being “well-rounded,” which you allude to in your article, is BlackBerry. You might not know this, but we are no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in everything from devices and cars to containers and medical equipment.
For example, if you drive a Ford, GM, Audi (or Mercedes, right), BlackBerry software is most likely powering its infotainment system. Your new iPhone uses BlackBerry software if you work at one of the thousands of enterprises that use our mobile management platform. If you know a UCLA faculty member or student, they most likely received an alert, powered by our software, when the unfortunate shooting took place on campus in June.
Your health records, personal information and bank accounts are kept safe and secure because BlackBerry software is trusted by some of the world’s largest companies in industries such as banking, healthcare and legal. In the future, you may experience less scarring, less recovery time, and less pain should you need a heart transplant thanks to our software. These are just a few examples.
The reason I would want my kids (and your kids) to be like BlackBerry is this: Resiliency. We’re in the midst of an incredible transformation, bringing our software business – something we’ve always had – finally to the fore. And, it’s working due to the simple fact that BlackBerry has more than doubled its software revenue on a year-over-year basis for the past two quarters. We’re not letting one product/idea define us; rather, we are transforming our thinking, addressing our obstacles head-on to nimbly innovate in cutting-edge areas such as the Enterprise of Things.
There is a lot going on at BlackBerry today, which makes me want to leave you with one piece of advice: “just because you knew someone, doesn’t mean you know them.” Your old employer certainly looks a lot different these days.