An Open Letter to RIM

By Deane Barker on June 30, 2011

Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him: I really enjoyed this open-letter from an anonymous (and apparently high-level) RIM employee.  It’s brutally honest and hints at the death spiral the company is in right now.

Listen to how this guy characterizes RIM as a dev platform.

We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.

Developing for BlackBerry is painful, and despite what you’ve been told, things haven’t really changed that much since Jamie Murai’s letter. Our SDK / development platform is like a rundown 1990?s Ford Explorer. Then there’s Apple, which has a shiny new BMW M3… just such a pleasure to drive. Developers want and need quality tools.

I saw the RIM CEO speak at the Web 2 Summit, and, honestly, he seemed like the most out of touch guy there.  There was a deer-in-headlights quality about him that really makes me fear for this company’s future.

I feel like RIM so utterly dominated the one thing only they did well 10 years ago – email connected devices.  They controlled his segment so tightly that the got lazy and stopped innovating.  Well, their competitive advantage is gone – everyone can get email on their phone now – and what do they have up their sleeve?  Nothing, it seems.

I have a friend who is forced to use a Blackberry for his work.  We were in Vegas together a few months ago and I showed him the pure awesome that is my Droid X.  I swear, he about cried.

RIM responded to the letter with average corporate-speak about profits and “transitions” and such.  They did bitch a little:

[…] it is particularly difficult to believe that a “high level employee” in good standing with the company would choose to anonymously publish a letter on the web rather than engage their fellow executives in a constructive manner, […]