RIM’s song has been sung before

As I built a Christmas playlist for a party we’re hosting tomorrow night I scanned the online news and settled on yet another story of the free fall of Research in Motion. It’s been one heck of a year for all kinds of reasons and for all kinds of people but it’s strangely fascinating to observe the arc of RIM’s year. The firm seems to be hurtling uncontrollably into the dark of night.  As a customer told me over lunch on Monday when the three of us were calculating how many Apple devices each of us owned, “It’s just so sad to watch a once great company virtually disappear in one year”. By the way, each of the three of us owns at least six Apple devices while only two RIM devices are in our collective possession.  You can do the math.  It might not be a 9:1 ratio across the globe but it’s probably pretty close.

Of course we know that the sort of business implosions RIM is experiencing do not happen overnight, nor are they due to things entirely beyond their control.  When the Harvard Business Review or University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business get around to doing an autopsy after the firm’s flesh goes cold and the buzzards have picked the choicest pieces, it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn it was likely hubris that did them in. As a student of history I can safely say that throughout time much larger forces and personalities have been done in by the exact same failing.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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