Reading RIM news coverage is frustrating. Outlets covering RIM only do so in a neutral and passive tone such that you wouldn’t have guessed the company’s stock has been in decline for the past four years. Must frustrating of all is how writers repeatedly end their pieces with optimistic outlooks at the next software release or the next device announcement that’s supposed to single handedly save the company. It’s frustrating because it gives the company yet another more chance to disappoint, and prolongs the inevitable, leading to a bigger and more dramatic crash.
The coverage of RIM in the past four years should have been more direct and more honest. Clichés along the lines of “RIM’s Playbook failed to appeal to consumers compared to other tablets like the iPad” let RIM get away with a lot more than they should have been able to. Mindlessly commenting on RIM’s strategies like dropping the price of the Playbook hasn’t helped RIM, and it hasn’t helped consumers. RIM sold a few more units of a obsolete product, and consumers bought something unable to deliver an experience even close to any other device on the market.
The coverage of the appointment of RIM’s new CEO should have stung the company. It was a trivial, symbolically move that was never going to bring material change to the company’s strategy. But a passive tone that was optimistic to see what the CEO could do (stay the course) let the company do just that.
Just because RIM is Canadian doesn’t mean every single Canadian media outlet needs to be supportive of them (though the chances of them with friends or interest in RIM is high). Just because they’re Canadian doesn’t mean they shouldn’t die. That’s not to say you should hope for them to go bankrupt and for thousands to lose their jobs (RIM’s already seeing to that), but being more objective, and more direct in how you communicate RIM’s news is needed.
RIM may actively sponsor a lot of different community activities and outlets, but short of wanting to sell more phones, its delusional to expect anything from them. RIM’s in trouble because somewhere in between leadership, culture and innovation, they are not doing their job.
Now I don’t want to sound like a cuss, but If Waterloo would turn into a slum because of the fall of RIM, then it should turn into a slum.
To wrap it up, one more time, news isn’t worth reading if it skirts around the truth. If the phone you just launched isn’t competitive, then I’m sorry but you didn’t do your job. Don’t cheat customers into buying your product or rely on people’s sympathy. BlackBerry OS 10 is going to be delayed? I’m sorry if your company’s survival depends on a single software release, but maybe your company’s survival shouldn’t depend on a single software release.