Now that the Waterloo Innovation Summit has wrapped up, we starting to see some clips from the event posted to YouTube. For the most part, they've just been short clips and highlights but there's one video that was uploaded that caught my attention due to the fact it was longer than 30 seconds, unlike the other videos, and it covers a portion of John Chen's interview that wasn't caught in our highlights post from earlier. Although we don't get to hear the question asked, the video covers what John Chen thinks is important for any business to succeed.
I think the most important thing, in my mind, is to make sure that the customer feels secure -- and I know we use the word security a lot -- but, feel comfortable in continuing doing business with you. That's really the fundamental of any business. Whether you're doing well, you're not doing well, especially true if you're not doing that well.
So, I kind of applied the same playbook in a way that, first, you have got to get the financials of the company settled down. When I came in we were burning a lot of cash, chasing a lot of different innovations, which, of course, is a good thing to do. But on the other hand, the company started losing financial traction. Customers are starting to be concerned whether we have staying power, and, of course, your competition will try to convince them and reinforce that thought, so it gets the snowball effect.
Then it's like a fashion business. It's an "in" thing. Today you guys, a lot of people think it's the "in" thing to buy a product coming from another fruit company. I try not to do free commercials for my competitors, the other fruit company. It's kind of the sexy thing to do now; you need to be seen with it. Back in 2007 everybody is the CrackBerry person. And they all say this is kind of like, it's really a badge of honor to, A) have a BlackBerry, and B) to be able to type underneath a table while you're talking to somebody else. So we kind of lost that sexiness. So the question is how do we recover that?
In my opinion, everything John Chen said here is absolutely right but another reason the video stuck out for me is the timing of these comments, because as it stands right now with all the recent BlackBerry Venice leaks and rumors, BlackBerry has in some ways left people wondering about their future again. Granted, it's nowhere near as dire as it was when BlackBerry hired J.P. Morgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets to help with strategic review but one look in the CrackBerry Forums and it's not hard to see some folks are wondering what an Android device released by BlackBerry means for BlackBerry 10 and I don't think it's any stretch of the imagination to say that some may not be feeling 'secure' with purchasing a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, despite BlackBerry stating they remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system every time someone asks about an Android device release.
"We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched"
In any case, the comments from the fireside chat were still worth sharing as it offers some insight into how Chen thinks and while we still don't truly know what a BlackBerry running Android means for the future of BlackBerry 10, we're hoping to hear something official sooner rather than later, because while I know BlackBerry will tell us all we need to know in due time, things get a little chaotic when there's no real clarification.