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Rumor: RIM Offering Same Incentive for Employees Developing PlayBook Apps?


I have always said that RIM would make a killing if it simply allowed and encouraged employees to develop apps for their platforms. There are quite a few app developers out there who are actually RIM employees trying to make a few bucks on the side. From what I understand this was a bit tricky because RIM, like many other companies, has terms in their contract that discourage this. Usually employment contracts state something along the lines of them having a claim to anything created by an employee related to work even not during work hours. Many companies have changed these clauses recently but I just heard that RIM may have also done something similar.

According to one of our sources RIM is offering their employees an incentive program similar to the public one. They are offering employees a free BlackBerry PlayBook if their get their app approved by March 31st which is the same as the public offer for developers. They have also thrown in a bonus “Secret Prize” for the employee with the most apps.

I have not been able to confirm the internal incentive program (still working on that) but if it is not true RIM better implement one fast. Many of these employees have the knowledge to create some of the best PlayBook apps out there which could really help RIM at launch. I know it is a bit unfair pitting 3rd party devs against RIM employees but for now it is all about BOTH quality and volume. 3rd party devs will be able to catch up once they have access to an actual device.

What do you think?

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  1. Me personally I would hope RIM would be incentivizing these sorts of folks to make PlayBook OS and BlackBerry 6.1 OS the best they can be, and going all out to focus them on the RIM apps portfolio (Maps, Traffic, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Dunno, do you think Apple or Google actively encourage their employees to develop “outside the family”? If RIM is doing this, I think it is incredibly short sighted. Build the best platform with the best API’s and developer tools and the apps will come. Keep those as historically obtuse as they have been on BlackBerry incentives like a free PlayBook aren’t going to make a difference.

    • I disagree. Within the immediate community of RIM campus in waterloo there would be tremendous internal competition. “I am better than you” type of competition. People may get caught up in looking good in their workplace and not worry about whether or not they are developing a billion dollar app and are giving it away for free.

      And who doesn’t like free stuff??

  2. Seriously? Almost Every employer has contracts stating they own the IP created by you while you work for them. Name one that has changed this policy. If anything it has become more restrictive these days.

  3. Awesome! The more apps the better

  4. It is nice to see they are going in house for more development

  5. well, i dont see wh ynot

  6. I think it is a good idea for RIM to have some of their staff just creating free applications on company time to improve the platform’s overall offerings. However suggesting that they do so independently is a bit odd, and makes it looks as if RIM is competing with itself.

    • Does it? They would do It likely off hours and on their own time. Competition is only ever a good thing when it comes to quality

      • But if I worked for RIM I would instead want to get my applications published under RIM’s name. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see it as anything other then a blatant conflict of interest. Either I would have to view it as spending my free time working unpaid hours for the benefit of my employer, or making something where any success implies that my own employer should be taking steps to sue me…

  7. On the one hand, it helps to increase the number and quality of apps.

    On the other hand it smacks of desperation – much as when Microsoft did something similar to get apps out their for their OS.

  8. i don’t see any problem with this. I just hope they are also working on code so that developers that make android apps can port them to playbook with a few key strokes. Make that porting as low cost as possible and they will do it.

  9. Well I think everyone had to be given a chance. Its not like RIM employees more superior in making apps than 3rd party devs, though they have certain advantages having direct access to the devices earlier.

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