Our man John Chen spoke at an event hosted by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce earlier today. Speaking to a crowd of 400, Chen asked for help promoting BlackBerry.
“One of the biggest things that I’m working and struggling with, that everybody here could help with, is our reputation,”
“Not long ago, the company was in deep deep trouble. We are now out of trouble in terms of financial, but we haven’t established a growth…until that happens nobody will go willingly buy our products.”
With these words, John Chen proves that he has a quality that a certain other CEO of a certain other fruit named mobile device company does not have. A sense of reality.
BlackBerry has never had a problem building quality devices. The old BBOS phones, built like tanks, were the best at what they were intended to do, but sadly, with the advent of iPhone and Android, the intended purpose of BlackBerry devices became seen as mundane and boring. The security and messaging capabilities of BlackBerry was not enough to keep the general populace interested. Sadly, they gave in to the pull of games and apps on devices that still to this day can’t match the messaging and security features of the former generation of BlackBerry phones.
And BlackBerry lost marketshare. And as customers left BlackBerry, media turned on them as well. We could not open a website of a newspaper without being faced with headlines calling out that BlackBerry was dead, that they would be sold and pieced out to competitors for their patents. And as media ran with this story, former BlackBerry CEO did nothing to correct these reports. Instead of a story being told about how BlackBerry was trying to take itself private instead of public, the story was, and still is, that BlackBerry put a for sale sign on the front of the buildig.
But then something amazing happened.
Someone amazing happened.
Prem Watsa swooped in to rescue BlackBerry. And he did so by bringing proven turn around artist John Chen to helm the ship of BlackBerry. John Chen grabbed the controls, and soon what was once a sinking ship, had righted itself, and is now charging full steam ahead.
With some restructuring, we have seen BES maintain it’s position as the premier MDM provider. We’ve watched as QNX has become the cornerstone of the upcoming IoT revolution. Both of these things should be enough to make for a successful company that should be loved by the media. Sadly that is not the case. Even with the success that these two parts of BlackBerry are enjoying, these aren’t the things that people think of when they think of BlackBerry. When someone hears BlackBerry, they think of devices. Of the BlackBerry smartphone. And it’s increasingly apparent that people still think of BBOS phones when thinking of BlackBerry.
BBOS phones are seen as dinosaurs by those using and promoting iPhone and Android. An old OS that is not up to modern standards. And they are right. As much as I loved my BBOS phones, and would still use them over an Android or iPhone, they are a thing of the past. And taking it’s place is BB10. A new QNX based OS that once you have used it, makes you understand that Android and iPhones are fossils. But still the general populace does not see it. They are still propagating the myth that BlackBerry is a dead company, and speak of Bolds and Curves when talking about BlackBerry.
“The reason I said everybody could help is, you need to tell people that BlackBerry not only has a strategy, it’s no longer a troubled company. The sooner that message gets out and registers, the sooner we’ll return to growth”
Chen asked the crowd to help promote BlackBerry. Well I wasn’t there, but I’m on board.
Those behind the scenes here at UTB are constantly out promoting BlackBerry. I see so many that I recognize as readers here, out at other websites, on Twitter, and BBM Channels fighting the good fight. Correcting mistruths about BlackBerry, and promoting the brand. It really brings a sense of pride to be a part of such a strong community. However, as many vocal fans as there are out there pushing the brand, there are a great many more that are quiet. Many that keep up to date on the happenings of BlackBerry, many reading this site and others, that don’t sign in, that don’t leave comments or join forums.
It’s time for the quiet fans to find their voice. Chen is asking, and BlackBerry needs you.
BB10 is the best mobile OS out there. And BlackBerry phones are simply amazing, especially when compared to other platforms. And it’s time more than the BlackBerry faithful know this. It’s time that we let everyone else know.
Remember, two voices are louder than one, and a multitude can be deafening.