“Because I win!” –Big Daddy
Written exclusively for Berryfication.com by Greg Wesson (@lombaki)
In many cards games, the goal is to lay down all of your cards; sometimes all at once. During the game, you often have to pick up a card on your turn if you can’t play something. Picking up a card each turn adds up and you end up with so many cards that everyone else becomes assured that you won’t recover. The funny thing about having those cards is that every now and then, once you get them all organized, all of a sudden it all falls into place and BAM! All the cards hit the table exposing a huge win. Enter RIM.
In 2006/2007, RIM had what was perceived as the winning hand. However, during the past few years, RIM hasn’t been able to make a play and have been collecting cards one by one. In this analogy, those cards are other businesses. Here’s the history from Wikipedia:
Date Company Business Country Value (USD)
January 30, 2009 Chalk Media
August 24, 2009 Torch Mobile
WebKit Mobile Browser Canada
April 9, 2010 QNX Software Systems
Unix like OS Canada
August 24, 2010 Cellmania
App store software maker United States
September 8, 2010 Documents To Go and other assets Office suite United States
$50 million 
December 2, 2010 The Astonishing Tribe
Interface wizards Sweden
February 14, 2011 Gist
Professional contact manager United States
March 25, 2011 tinyHippos
Mobile web development Canada
April 27, 2011 Tungle.me
Social calendaring Canada
June 7, 2011 Scoreloop
Social gaming Germany
May 2, 2011 Ubitexx
Mobile device management Germany
July 22, 2011 Jaycut
Video editing Sweden
October 7, 2011 NewBay
Content provider Ireland
$100 Million 
March 8, 2012 Paratek
RF multi-band handsets United States
That’s a lot of cards picked up since January 2009, and it tells me something. It tells me that in 2008 someone realized that the current OS wasn’t going to work for much longer. iPhone was a hit. Android came of age. RIM didn’t have the necessary resources to build a new OS and needed pieces to put their puzzle together.
What does it all mean? The culmination of the purchases is starting to show and it will in BlackBerry 10 (which I’m still really hoping they rename). I’m not going to pretend that I foresee BB10 being perfect. I’ll admit, there is no perfect OS. It’s why we have choices; different strokes for different folks.
Yet, BlackBerry is reinventing themselves with BB10. I think that is a big difference between Palm and BlackBerry. Palm saw the Pre and WebOS not so much as a reinvention, but a continuation of who they were. BlackBerry needs to show that they fully understand that they have fallen from grace in the USA market. The marketing needs to show some sort of a “New Day” spin. Resurrection, Rise of the Phoenix, some kind of new birth analogy.
RIM has a lot of cards in their hands. Currently, they are getting those cards organized (hiring, firing, integrating). Come October it’ll be Rim’s turn again and they will lay down their hand and show their cards. Here’s hoping they picked up all the right ones.