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How Blackberry was overthrown by the “good enough” revolution.
Posted 27 February 2014 / By Andrew Seipp / Uncategorized

Blackberry good enough revolution

Image courtesy o frafael-castillo on Flickr

Blackberry was once the darling of the smartphone world. In 2008 they had over 50% marketshare in the US. Now they have a market share of just 0.6%!

Blackberry’s rise and fall is different from most because it started off as a product with a heavy focus on the corporate world. However, its real growth in marketshare and profit began when they when they started to cater to the consumer market. At its peak Blackberry was unstoppable in no small part to the extremely popular Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service. When Blackberry was firing on all cylinders I remember feeling like I was always out of the loop, and not having a Blackberry put a serious dent in my social life. So in late 2010 I bought a used Bold 9000 to join the BBM club.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I jumped in near the end of RIM’s market dominance and I was thrilled when I was given an iPhone 4 less than a year later.

Contrast that to now. Blackberry is giving away BBM on all platforms almost for the opposite reason: its BBM customers have no one else to talk to. From a financial point of view, it’s not clear what Blackberry’s plans for BBM were; however, with Facebook buying WhatsApp for $19 billion, it would appear that Blackberry has missed the boat once again. The consumer market that fueled their explosive growth has now turned its back on them.

For this reason, Blackberry has started running from the consumer market and is going back to its roots: enterprise. Blackberry has a reputation for providing world class security on its devices through its Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES). This service offers end-to-end encryption of all communications, industry leading mobile device management (MDM), and assurance that the company has full, granular control of the device. Some of their inventions are brilliant: Blackberry Fusion allows an end user to have a personal profile that is not controlled by BES running alongside a fully secure BES portion. With many employees bringing their own devices to work, this satisfies both IT, who wants to ensure that company information is secure, and end users who don’t want to personalize their device. Both parties are happy

In summary, Blackberry makes a fantastic product for enterprise companies and even some of the consumer features they offer are cutting edge.

There’s just one problem


Most consumers, small businesses, and increasingly, enterprises don’t really need the security provided by BES. They don’t need end-to-end encryption and they don’t need the granular control that Blackberry provides. For most companies, all they need to do is enforce that PIN codes, enforce locking timeouts, and allow admins to remote wipe the device if it is lost. All of this can be done with Microsoft Exchange out of the box.

In other words, on device security is good enough.

I’m not sure if Blackberry is going to be able to turn itself around. I feel that they have focused too much on features that most of their customers don’t really care about. The market of smartphones is becoming increasingly commoditized and I predict that it is going to be harder for all smartphone manufacturers to make a profit. Except for Apple of course, but that’s another blog post.

Blackberry’s future is not at all written in stone and I will in a later post reveal why.

I’ve created a personal website and domain and so should you. Here’s why.
Posted 15 February 2014 / By Andrew Seipp / Blogging/Personal Branding
Image courtesy of Peter Trimming under Creative Common's License

Image courtesy of Peter Trimming under Creative Common’s License

With the increasing rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Shouldn’t that be enough?

With all of the paranoia about privacy, especially when it comes to social networks, it seems counter-intuitive to create a website these days. This thinking is wrongheaded for a a few reason which I will outline below.

So why did I create this website, and why should you do it? Here’s why:

  1. Control
  2. I can decide what goes where, what theme I want to use, and can control the look and feel of my page down to the finest detail (within the limits of wordpress at least). Facebook or LinkedIn can change settings and are often a tad sneaky at making you divulge more information than you may want to otherwise hand over.

  3. Permanence

  4. Facebook, Linkedin, and other social networks are at risk of being a fad. Maybe not right away, but in the rapidly changing interwebs, not all of them will survive. The dependence of ad revenue to stay afloat is, in my opinion, a flawed model. With many different sites, such as the WSJ and The Globe and Mail, setting up paywalls to stay afloat it makes you wonder how many websites that rely on it will survive over time.

  5. Full format

  6. Life can’t be expressed 140 characters at a time and Facebook isn’t much further ahead. I can write articles that are 1000 words long and it fits the format.

  7. Clout

  8. I run a telecom expense auditing company. It’s going quite well but there is always the chance that it could be bought out or go out of business far various reasons. Tying my name to only one project is professionally prohibitive. Plus I may start other businesses down the line

  9. It makes you stand out

I run a business. I am running this place partially to increase my online presence. But even job seekers and salaried employees can use a personal blog to create a personal brand for themselves that expands beyond their job. The number one rule of business and life is that it is all about who you know. Have a permanent website gives you clout. The first result on the web will be your website. Imagine what message you can send with a professionally designed site with a portfolio of your work, your (non-controversial) opinion on something, or a secret recipe that you want to share.

Overall, the important part of getting everything setup on a personal website is all about personal brand. You are not a number but if you don’t set to differentiate yourself from the crowd it is easy to blend in. So it is really valuable to get things setup and go.

I am going to create a guide in the future of the easiest ways to set it up a personal blog/website and what tools you need to get it going.

Andrew Seipp
Telecom consultant, motorcycle enthusiast, and owner of TelClarity
Andrew Seipp
portfolio personal branding blogging
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