Monthly Archive: April 2010

May Day celebration

With BlackBerry now well and truly launched in the United States, I’m happy to say that publishers in three other countries have acquired rights: Britain, India and China. Aurum in Britain will be the next to bring the book out with a pub date of May 1 followed by Hachette India and China Machine Press. Among my fourteen books over twenty-five years, this is the first to be published in so many countries beyond Canada. I’m honored these publishers think the story is of such wide interest.

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Gordon Sharwood 1932-2010

Gordon Sharwood’s departure from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was in keeping with the principles of the man. In August 1969, Sharwood was reading the newspaper at breakfast when he saw an item saying Russell Harrison was being transferred from Quebec to run the bank on a day-to-day basis. Until then, that had been Sharwood’s role and he had done it well. Earlier that year, CIBC passed the Royal to become Canada’s largest bank. Such success was insufficient for Neil McKinnon, the autocratic chairman and CEO of CIBC, who toyed with potential successors among his senior executives for years. Sharwood...

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Cross-border promotion

As part of the U.S. book launch I signed several dozen books with personal inscriptions for mailing to American political and business leaders, top journalists as well as mavens in several other arenas. Recipients include Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Larry King. Among authors, journalists and commentators are Malcolm Gladwell, Graydon Carter, Walter S. Mossberg and Jim Cramer. Business leaders include Bill Gates and Andy Grove. In so doing, we took a page out of RIM’s early strategy: give away the product to “seed” the market among those who matter. Malcolm Gladwell explained the phenomenon in his book, The Tipping...

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Taking Manhattan (and maybe Boise)

Key Porter, my publisher, has this month launched sales of BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research in Motion in the United States. In the past my books have only been available through such U.S. websites as Amazon.com and the like. This is the first book I’ve written that’s actually on the shelves at major U.S. airports, Borders, Barnes & Noble as well as numerous independents. Of course, there is also availability through Amazon.com and other sites such as Alibris and Abebooks that began as used book sites but now offer new books as well. So anyone can go into the...

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None is the loneliest number

When my first book, “The Moneyspinners,” came out 25 years ago, my publisher, Doug Gibson, offered some savvy advice. Never go into a bookstore looking for your book, he said. It might not be there. And if you do go in, he said, don’t ask any of the sales staff about it. They’ll say they’ve never heard of it. Over the years, my books have done well, and I have pretty much followed his guidance. Until today. I happened to be walking past Indigo’s Bay and Bloor location in the Manulife Centre. I thought, I’ll just take a peek at...

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Bold new world

Of all the technological innovations of recent vintage, none has been more vibrant than blogs and social media. One of the attendees at my recent talk at the Rotman School arrived bearing her BlackBerry Bold 9700. Michelle Chau took notes using the Evernote application as well as several photos with the 9700’s camera. You can find her report on CrackBerry.com complete with photos of me, the book and the inscription page. The self-described “PR gal/Librarian by day, and CrackBerry addict by night” has done an excellent job summarizing the main points of my talk. You can also follow her exploits...

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Share price blues

Research In Motion has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the stock market: “It can’t get no respect.” Coming out of a global recession, the financial results announced yesterday looked strong. Year-over-year, revenue was up 35 per cent to $15 billion, the subscriber account base grew 65 per cent to 41 million, smartphone shipments grew more than 40 per cent to 37 million, and earnings per share were up 30 per cent to $4.31. Analysts, however, were expecting better. As soon as the numbers became available after the market closed, share price began falling in after-hours trading. By early evening, share...

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