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Justin Bieber Wanted to Rep BlackBerry – Great Quotes from Former BlackBerry Employees


There are some great articles coming out now with stories from former and some current BlackBerry employees. The latest is from Bloomberg that supposedly chronicles the “rise and fall of BlackBerry” in an oral history. They really hit hard on how BlackBerry went from an agile cutting edge company to a bureaucratic, carrier loving, customer ignoring mess that current execs have tried to remedy. They do this with quotes from all over the place including my buddy Kevin over @CrackBerry. It gives you some insight into how they totally missed the boat leading up to 2008-2010.

My favorite little tidbit? Check this one out:

One thing we missed out on was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador,” basically. And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said, “This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.” I said at the meeting: “This kid might outlive RIM.” Everyone laughed.

Or here is another one:

Dymond: The field reps and carriers were asking, “Why don’t you guys advertise?” I do remember asking the question, and it came down to, “We don’t need to.” Being successful at RIM was all about being close to the carriers. I’m not sure what we were doing to get customers in the door.

Or one that really hits home:

Boudreau: In four years we went from [approximately] 2,000 to 12,000 people. Having been at Nortel, the politics that get played is exponential. I was starting to see it be like Nortel. There was bureaucracy. There was pointless process. You were getting decisions by committee.

Check out the full details here

7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Clearly somebody messed up large. I think they could have used such great Canadian talent to help BlackBerry.

    By the way, Bloomberg for some reason hates BBRY. They even post pictures of old BBRY devices and not new BB10 devices. Its as if they are trying to manipulate readers and giving them impressions that BBRY is old and tired. Complete Nonsense on Bloomberg’s part.

    • Bloomberg is a joke! In fact, most sources that call themselves “news” are a joke. These places are obviously deep inside the pockets of other companies and will never report anything as it really is. News is becoming archaic and I’ll always rely on the people of the world to report how things really are.

  2. @MartinJDub: My oral history of BlackBerry: Genesis 1999, digital heroine email push 2003, CrackBerry coined 2006, Rope A dope 2011-13, Come back kid 2014

  3. Nobody ever accused Blackberry marketing of having a brain! Beiber would have been perfect. They were probably thinking that his following are tweens and teens and don’t have money to spend. Totally overlooked that tweens and teens get older, get jobs, have money. Should have hooked them while they were young. I think the old marketing dept at Blackberry was a sabotage to the company.

  4. Ronen describes it the best, “bureaucratic, carrier loving, customer ignoring mess”.

    To be honest, I see very little evidence any of those 3 have REALLY changed yet.

  5. Wow, all sad if true. Amazing how arrogant and out of touch management became. I think turning down Justin was a huge mistake. But the number of blunders is so large that its no wonder Blackberry is where it is. If I didn’t know better it all sounds like it was sabotage.

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