Monthly Archive: February 2010

Money and manpower

Among the many crucial moments in the history of Research In Motion was the arrival of Jim Balsillie in 1992. At the time, when he was hired by Mike Lazaridis, there were only fourteen employees. As RIM’s new vice-president of finance and business development, Balsillie invested $125,000 for a one-third interest in the business. “The arrival of Jim Balsillie was a turning point for the company in several respects,” said Dale Brubacher-Cressman, employee number five at RIM. “There was only so much Mike could do. He recognized the need to get business support into the company to get the company to...

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Ride the wild surf

Even after spending a quarter of a century building Research In Motion, Mike Lazaridis remains deeply passionate about what he’s doing. “Mike is still a little-boy gadget freak. Whenever I see him at a trade show, he takes me aside, pulls out the latest toy, and he oohs and he aahs all over it,” says California-based wireless consultant Andy Seybold. “Mike is not driven by money. He is driven by ‘What can I do next to take this platform and turn it into something super cool yet again?’ And he keeps doing it.” Co-CEO Jim Balsillie equates their roles at...

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Now more than ever

Of all the erroneous allegations made about Research In Motion over the years, the most persistent has been that some competitor is developing a killer device that will either end RIM’s growing dominance or dispatch the company into oblivion. Analyst Mike Urlocker once drew up a list of all the products that had been billed by somebody as “BlackBerry killers.” They included Palm 7, Qualcomm PDQ, Motorola PageWriter, Motorola T900, 3G, MSFT Exchange Server 2003, Compaq Ipaq, Ogo, Sidekick, Nokia E62, Sendo, Microsoft Stinger, and Pocket PC. To that list could be added other, more recent, mainstream candidates such as Palm Pre and Apple’s...

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