I’ve thoroughly criticized Blackberry for several years. I dislike several things about the product and the company.
I don’t like the way it looks, I don’t like the tacky-looking keys, I don’t like the fact that Blackberry has been inextricably linked to corporate work. It’s like a uniform in that context.
I didn’t like the widespread notion that several young MBA kids had back in 2007-08ish that once they had a Blackberry in their hands, they had achieved a life goal. Why do you want to be tagged 24×7 by your bosses, young MBA kids?
And then came the erstwhile RIM’s change in strategy, when they tried to appeal to the youth, clearly identified by all and sundry as the SEGMENT TO TAP! in the Indian mobile telephone market.
That move sounded disgustingly hypocritical and suicidal to me. You are clearly a niche company. Jumping into the mainstream market when there were at least two strong, established players with equity in that market, certainly sounded wacko. Particularly because those two companies could always make smartphones that can be used in business. If corporates around the world gradually started ditching Blackberry, the company would be left neither here nor there.
Needless to say, RIM’s move failed disastrously. And now they are rebuilding again from scratch, dropping the name RIM and calling the company Blackberry as well.
With this context, imagine my consternation when I found that my new workplace required me to have a Blackberry.
After dragging it along for a bit and breaking a couple of walls, I procured one yesterday. I’m so disgusted that I haven’t taken it out of its box yet. There it lies on the dining table, unwanted and uncared for. And inside that packet is a device that’s black and with tacky keys and… GRR!
And today I read a report that Eric Schmidt carries a Blackberry. What now?
He says he likes the keyboard. He says he’s comfortable with it.
He’s probably lying. There’s probably a corporate policy at Googleplex that requires employees to carry Blackberrys.