The MENS Club
In one of the many courageous moves by RIM on the road to success, in 1994 Mike Lazaridis called together all 20 employees – yes, that’s right, just 20 employees – to announce the company was going to focus on the wireless business. That meant giving up lucrative software contract work and other sure revenue-generators for a wireless world of risk.
Lazaridis told the employees he was aiming high: the top five. “We called it the MENS Club – Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens,” said Lazaridis. Along the way Samsung replaced Siemens, but the letters remained the same. “Our goal was to become the fifth letter.”
Well, according to figures just released by the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, RIM has arrived. As of the first quarter of 2010 RIM has replaced Motorola and is tied with Sony Ericsson for number four. As recently as 2004 Motorola was in second place. Siemens slipped off the list in 2005.
The new top five are Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, RIM and Sony Ericsson. The MENS Club moniker has become NSLRS. Which could stand for No Sales Like Rising Sales.
Hello Mr McQeen,
I read your book, “BlackBerry – The Inside Story Of Research In Motion”. I know some of the people you describe in the book. Thanks for writing it. I’d be surprised if other books won’t be written about RIM. Can I ask you to consider some information in your next book go-round, edition, update, or whatever? You mention Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi but not Reginald Aubrey Fessenden.
Fessenden was born in Quebec. R.A.F. moved to Ontario. He later moved to the United States. His contributions are honoured in the Hammond radio museum in Guelph, Ontario, and in scholarly papers about his life that can be located on the internet. He worked for Thomas Alva Edison.
Fessenden’s principal legacy is the world’s first wireless voice transmissions. There is some debate about whether Marconi at first accepted the Hertzian waves theory positing that RF waves could bend. Fessenden was an early proponent of this behaviour. The best writings that I found about Reginald Aubrey Fessenden’s contributions are by John S. Belrose.