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Managing perceptions and product at RIM like Apple did

By Jesse Rodgers

A tweet by Peter Mansbridge brought a lot of people’s attention to an article entitled Steve Jobs’ Lesson for RIM: Power of Perceptions, Turnaround 101, which focuses on how Steve Jobs changed the perception of Apple. That perception shift was driven a lot by product, and it wasn’t the iPod that did it. It was the other product — the Mac computer — and Apple’s ability to extend the life of a dead OS. Apple focused on revenue building and its “cult of mac” first.

The problem Steve Jobs faced with Apple’s OS going from the OS 8/9 to X and where RIM is now feels very similar. Apple extended the life of a dead OS while it built the OS for its future (OS X), the one that gave it the flexibility to build the iPod, the iPhone, and beyond. Did Jobs manage perceptions through how he spoke about Apple? Sure, but he also needed his product to deliver on the promise that Apple is innovative and cool.

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Recent Comments

  • James LaPalme : Francis Would not say thrived - but close - in spite of geography. 15ish years ago - a group of similar skilled and experience and capable business folks (sales, channel, alliance, business development) all lived in Canada (Ottawa-Toronto-Waterloo). All except for one stayed - that would be me. Well the guys that went to Silicon Valley have thrived well beyond expectations. The others - Boston, Dallas and EU have done very well - thrived. My survival has been predominately based on CEO's from outside Ontario seeing my value. Best to move on to more receptive fertile ground if ambitious. A successful strategy is to move south do a few years and remove the pure northern business experience then come back - which my experience is very few will.

  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

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