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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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