Monthly Archive: June 2010

Good results, bad outcome

What does a company have to do to drive share price higher? Research In Motion yesterday announced excellent first quarter results: revenue up 24 per cent, earnings up 41 per cent and shipments up 43 per cent. In total, RIM has shipped more than 100 million BlackBerrys, about twice as many as Apple has sold iPhones. To put this success in another context, in its first five years of BlackBerry sales from 1999-2004, RIM signed up a total of one million subscribers. During the most recent three-month period, RIM signed up almost five million new subscribers. If you thought such...

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Capitol thoughts

Just back from a swing through Washington, D.C., where old friends Betsy and Charlie Rackley held a reception to celebrate the launch of my book in the U.S. The food was international: Georgia peaches, North Carolina shrimp and Quebec cheese. In addition to bookstores in the District, I also checked out stock in northern Virginia and found BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research In Motion to be widely available and well displayed. No one, not even Democrats, thought President Obama did well in his Oval Office speech about BP and the Gulf of Mexico. I thought he was all angles...

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London calling

Excellent review of my BlackBerry book in the Financial Times of London, my first ever in that esteemed publication. Always a treat to have your writing style called ‘jaunty.’ Here’s the link.

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Download available

BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research In Motion is now available as an e-book through Kobo. You can download it and read it on any mobile device including a BlackBerry. Price is $16.89, half the cost of the hardcover edition. Here’s the link.

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Humble pie or no pie at all

Time was when a book came out in hard cover, a paperback edition followed a year later, and then maybe another year or two would pass before you’d find your baby in the remainder bin. Bookstores would slash the original $26.95 price down to $6.95 or lower. Next came the rise of Alibris and Abebooks. At first the online sites sold only used books but for the last couple of years they’ve also been selling new books at a discount of 40 per cent or more. Today, the time between publication and a price drop has become about three months....

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The billionaire book club

BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research In Motion has been chosen for J.P. Morgan’s 2010 Summer Reading List. JPM bankers around the world submit non-fiction books for consideration (this year there were 450 titles nominated) from which ten are chosen. “If you can’t live like the rich this summer, at least you can read like them,” says the Wall Street Journal. “It’s kind of a book club for billionaires, without the tedious monthly get-togethers over cheese and chardonnay.” In addition to BlackBerry, this year’s eleventh annual list also includes: On the Brink, by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; Life is What...

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A guru and some gossip

Congratulations to Jeff Rubin whose book, Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller, has won the 2010 National Business Book Award. The $20,000 prize was presented today during a swank luncheon at the Toronto Four Seasons Hotel. My book about Manulife had been shortlisted along with books by Wendy Dobson, Buzz Hargrove and John DeMont. The book by Rubin, a former economist at CIBC, has been published in 13 countries and seven languages. Noting that no one has ever won twice in the 25-year history of the award, Rubin, who won with his first book, quipped:...

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The Last Best Hope

While I was researching my book about BlackBerry I kept looking for and asking about employees of Research In Motion who had departed to start their own tech companies. Where will the next Mike Lazaridis come from if not from within RIM, I wondered? The feeling was that people were happy at RIM. In a growing company there is plenty of room to satisfy all urges, even those of entrepreneurship. Recently, however, I have been hearing anecdotal evidence that RIM is beginning to spawn startups. That’s good. We need more RIMs in Canada; such companies create jobs. What’s even more...

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