John Chen says “Don’t Believe The Hype”


John Chen wrote a short post on LinkedIn proclaiming “don’t believe the hype”. In a few short paragraphs, John Chen shows why we as BlackBerry users should be celebrating this man.

One of the lessons that I have learned over the years is the importance of being straightforward. It’s been especially true for me being the CEO of an iconic and global brand such as BlackBerry.

No one can argue our man John Chen isn’t straightforward. In a time when most CEO’s speak from pre-written speeches, (yeah, I’m talking about you Tim Cook) Chen seems to speak off the cuff, with humor, and doesn’t hold back. Ending parties anyone?

In his post, Chen speaks of the draw to chase the easy sensationalism, to push the Kim Kardashian stories, and to speak of plans of China. Chen prefers to tell it like it is. “I have found telling it like it is the best thing to do, even if it hurts in the short-run, because it builds a foundation of trust over the long-term. And that is the time frame I operate in.”  This speaks volumes about Chen and the course that he is taking. We still hear trolls stating that the current administration is just getting the company ready to sell, the trolls just can’t get past the fact that BlackBerry is still operating, healing, growing, and Chen makes it very cleat here that he is looking at the long term. The BlackBerry turnaround has all the makings of being one of the greatest, and will most assuredly be talked about in business classes for years to come, and Chen’s long term thinking is what is making it happen.

Another aspect that many detractors like to speak about is the old “BlackBerry has left the consumer market” *yawn* Something that I’ve been extremely tired of hearing myself. I even wrote about it just this last week.

I am grateful for Kim’s [Kardashian’s] loyalty and respect her passion for BlackBerry, but it is not the right time for us to focus on the consumer market. Our focus right now is on extending our legendary security foundation with new solutions for the enterprise. Nothing is making us waver from that strategy.

That doesn’t mean that we are giving up on our many phone fans, as you can tell from the recently-released BlackBerry Passport and the soon-to-be-released BlackBerry Classic. But we cannot and will not chase sensationalism.

I found this as a fairly straightforward confirmation of my previous thoughts. While BlackBerry is focusing on the enterprise first, Chen still recognizes the fact that we fans are here, and BlackBerry is doing what they can to get the phones we want so badly in to our hands.

How about another claim that keeps popping up over and over?

As for China, rest assured that we are developing a well-thought out plan that will take into account many factors, including timing and our long-term strategy. It won’t be rushed because it’s exciting or turned away from because of security concerns. And it won’t include a takeover.

Can he make that any clearer? Can we finally stop hearing one made up news story after another of some company purchasing BlackBerry?

I will always take a rational approach and long-term view. As thrilling as riding the hype or letting the crowd dictate my tactics may feel in the short run, it will hurt in the long run. Build trust and be clear on your priorities and know that the right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision. That philosophy should serve you and your organization well, whatever situation you are in.

Some rock solid advice from our man John Chen, advice we can all follow. And for me, Chen’s post is one I imagine I shall be quoting for some time to come.


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.