"BlackBerry is going think of ways to capitalize on the current climate, with public concern over hacking and the NSA"

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Feb 2014 10:33 am EST

This past Friday, FastCompany published an editorial titled Is BlackBerry Actually Going To Turn It Around? Featuring several interview quotes from BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, and supporting quotes by me (I spent an hour on the phone with the story's author earlier in the week), it's a positive piece that seeks to examine why we are seeing a turn around in the company's share price since John Chen came onboard. Looking at percentage gains, BBRY is one of the hottest stocks of the year.

It's a solid read, so I encourage all of you to jump over and read it in its entirety. 

Read the Full Story at Fast Co.

Reader comments

"BlackBerry is going think of ways to capitalize on the current climate, with public concern over hacking and the NSA"


I disagree with that comment. I can't encrypt the contents of my home so that no one can tell what I have, nor can I remotely and securely wipe away my contents in my home at any moment when I realize that people are in my house. :)

Good response but why even bother lol.. we know the difference between a brick house and one made of straws.

Posted via CB10

This person never has a positive thing to say SMH. Just wondering why he continues to come on CrackBerry when he should be on Android Central aka Malware Central. People that are always negative are unhappy with their own lives.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

It's because he really wishes he had a z30, but he doesn't have the balls to handle peer pressure. The sad thing, if he had a z30, he would have a much better device by far than his buddies , but he doesn't know that and either do they. Kinda good though, because I remain among the elitists!

Posted via CB10

It's as secure as the weakest link, which is usually the user but they can capitalize in BB not being the weakest link and a secure platform.

Just to add to this, you can't buy security. If you want to make poor decisions, some magical phone isn't going to make those decisions safe.

But, if you are committed to making safe decisions, than some technologies can support those decisions better than others.

Posted via CB10

I think I may have purchased a small measure of security. I won't know for sure until someone attempts a break in, though.


Posted via CB10

When marketing you need to cover the concerns of you prospective customer....

"public concern over hacking and the NSA", I'm not sure that the NSA is as big a concern for the average consumer as some here believe. Identity theft or stealing some personal pictures they may have taken might be an issue.... but the marketing of this is very difficult to do, when there just aren't that many reports of it taking place due to another mobile OS being at fault. In most cases when it is rarely reported it is a user issue and would have happened on any platform.

Secure mobile and now the ability to download Android apps, the most common system for malware, how does that make sense?

Catapulted from my Z10.

No doubt, just trying out a marketing tag line. Just because they enable it doesn't mean you should load up Roid rage apps if security is a primary concern of yours. I'm sure BES will be able disallow apk ' s from being installed for corporate used phones.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for pointing this out. With the android runtime, I feel torn.

As a blackberry fan, I want to say that the app gap is closed.

As an IT pro, I am like "there is a reason why we avoided android". (for an organization)

Posted via CB10

There are a few Android / iOS apps, that I was missing, like invoice2go.com. Aussie made invoicing solution with cloud access.

Now I at least stand a chance to load an app like that, even though it says "Optimized for every platform", it's really only Mac/iOS, Windows desktop and Android.

Will try soon.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Keep the phone clean, stay native, and only really load the Android third party stuff that's NEEDED and you can't get otherwise, like above invoicing app.

Sadly, I have not found an app with all the features like that on BBW. Anyone else?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Great read. Looking forward to seeing BlackBerry continue to move in a positive direction!

Via The BlackBerry Z10 Experience.

It's only gonna turn around if Blackberry floods the appworld with more native apps! We're knee-deep in oblivion now!

APKs are currently flawed with it notifications, I guess us Blackberry loyalist will be defecting in droves soon. If they don't refocus on nativity, that was the whole of point of QNX. If I were Chen I will prime the software department again. Instead of depending on that lackluster Android runtime for apps!

They will turn it around. Just have to assure their customers that they will never ever be hacked EVER! Get it in to their hard apple and android heads and they will be in great shape!

Posted using the best phone ever, the white Z10!


They would need to provide a shock factor, much like the Apple advertisement from 1984 where the athlete throws the hammer through the giant screen of Big Brother (very ironic). I would like to see an athlete in 2014 through a hammer through a giant screen with an Apple logo and an Android bot. This idea is FULL OF WIN!

They could also define what the word "LIBERTY" really means, and then explain why it is important (and how BlackBerry helps you maintain your liberty). Maybe show some on-the-street interviews of "knuckle-head" iPhone and Android users that shrug their shoulders saying, "I have nothing to hide" and "What difference does it make?" And follow it up with videos from totalitarian states, and what it looks like to really lose Liberty. It is a slippery slope.

Love that. Maybe he should throw a Playbook, haha.

No, seriously, picking up a successful, well known competitor's commercial and twisting it (with your own slant) sounds like a great idea.

How times have changed, now Apple is BB (Big Brother) and the Establishment.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I'm impressed by Chen. 10.2.1 launch is one indication of how good a CEO he is. I got my upgrade on the 28th, the day BlackBerry said it was going to launch the update.

Posted via CB10

10.2.1 has been in the works for a long time. I doubt it was one of Mr. Chens primary focus areas.
He is much more business and marketing oriented. If BB 10 continues to drain money and they have a future as a software and service company without BB10, I would not be surprised to se him let BB10 die.

But for the next years I does not make sense as BES 10 without BB 10 is not anything special.

Finally! Ever since the first NSA leaks, I've been saying that BlackBerry should be capitalizing on the security aspects. Great news if that's what they're actually going to do.

Frankly, if it had been up to me, there would have been great big billboards saying "Don't want the NSA all up in your business? Welcome to BlackBerry. "

Posted via CB10

Amen! This is where they need to focus from a marketing standpoint. This is the MOST important thing to me, and it will be to many others sooner or later.

Well its a nice thought to keep the NSA away but really, the real criminals are the organized crimals and hackers that want to use and exploit the info. The NSA isnt trying to steal your ID or your bank account. That is what a secure phone protects you against, the real criminals.

Hey Kevin I am all for more security on BlackBerry phones it is one of the reasons I own one and have for a while now so I commend the company on their stride to make this an even more secure platform. Now I know this is going to be off topic and their might be a post or forum somewhere I have missed but how about also including on time updates to the customers instead of relying on carriers? I am not saying that I need all application out there but if customers cannot utilize equipments full potential then what good is it? Another one would be utilizing videos and calls on BBM through networks as well without wi-fi but this last one I know is not BlackBerry's fault.

Posted via CB10

Make security a need not a want and people will just adjust to it. It blows my mind how many intellectuals use android for critical information sharing. Companies survive and thrive on the core capability, that distinct attribute which set them apart, it's by time BlackBerry does the same.

Posted via CB10

These intellectuals are bright minds, but often technologically challenged and know stuff-all about Google's data slurping and iOS's tracking chip.

Using Chrome you will give them a PERPETUAL licence to use the content and info that flows through it, if I read that right. Yes, I once bothered to read through that abomination of a software licence. Android cloud backup will even friggin' store wifi passwords apparently in plain text on the server, even corporate wifi passwords. Are you kidding me?

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Good plan. How about giving us openVPN. Set up the native email to use GPG.

It is ironic that you can do both these things on Android. GPG can be done on a BlackBerry, but not with the native mail client.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry 10 OS was a flop? Just because z10s were not sold doesn't mean that BB10 is a flop OS.

Posted via CB10

About time. Security is one of BlackBerry's greatest strengths and they need to advertise it. Put a BB10 phone in the hands of every tin foil hat wearer.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Its about time,

This is something they should have started capitalizing on months ago when all of this surfaced. Even though only partially true, this is the "general" public we're talking about.

Neither QSAlpha nor Blackphone can provide the same amount of security BlackBerry offers. BlackBerry needs to hurry up and do this before these two do. And a way I would think Blackphone was actually doing half the battle for BlackBerry seeing how they call themselves 'Black'phone. I'm all for BlackBerry capitalizing against the NSA but I would rather them say something along the lines of saying that "even the NSA thinks the BlackBerry is secure." But seeing how the NSA also spies on Government officials (including the Board of Congress) I say go all out.

Posted via CB10

This is very cool. BlackBerry has bar none the best security. This is a very good way to capitalize on the current market.

Posted via CB10

Personal/family BES using their new bes 10 cloud platform as a base, sort of like their old free bes express. Give the keys to the people using it. Secures them, provides basic policies and gives them a taste of what the full product could do in entreprise.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

Talk is cheap. Heins did the same thing. "BB will do this, BB will do that", enough talk, lets see some results.

Kevin, you've been interviewed by a good writer. I can "hear" you in the article.

Yes, Blackberry means security to me. But, how does one capitalise the reputation to a public that doesn't care?

Security may begin at home, but it is quickly surrendered to Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites. We share life details without understanding the consequences.

Posted via CB10

As an enterprise client with close ties to BlackBerry, their NSA and underlining security messages are being heard loud and clear.

Posted via CB10

Security is important but if nobody buys your device.

Then security is way down the list .

BlackBerry...Get it done

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is going to capitalise and get back in the black trying to sell the same products this year that didn't sell last year just by adding the words "security" and "privacy", that were already there last year anyway?

Ohhh kayyyy.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2

That was BES - before Edward Snowden.

While security and privacy have always been features of the platform, the world itself has changed around Blackberry.

Also, with the NSA's activities which include intercepting hardware on its way to the buyer during shipping, frankly doing business with a Canadian company that's outside US jurisdicition makes a whole lot of sense for people concerned about such things.

Not only the companies, focus on the young ones on BBM that are leaving Facebook, they are the future company owners and managers,

Hah, I was derided multiple times in these forums for imagining this to be a good and new market for BlackBerry.

Well, told you so.

BBM is an integral part of the cross-platform BES solution. I'm happy to see BB keep BBM under their wing and not spin it off as a separate company.

If they are going to market on security, they need to do it NOW.

Not deliberate for months and months and then do it as a component of another marketing campaign for some other product.

This whole nsa story is going to fade into the program. Claim your heritage while you can & while people care.

Posted via CB10

A fantastic article.

Those of us already on BB10 knew all along how great the user experience is, and now they have the right people in place to get that message out.

I get a strong feeling the news coming out of 2014 is going to be refreshingly positive for a change.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Ok Kevin the security on BlackBerry is great but how does down loading a android app effect the security we all love? Does it make us vulnerable?

Posted Via Z10 Smarterphone

Settings >> Network Connections >> VPN

It's probably not what you're looking for but VPN is available.

Posted via CB10

I can't find anywhere in the linked Fast Company article any reference to the headline here:

"BlackBerry is going think of ways to capitalize on the current climate, with public concern over hacking and the NSA"

I see no comments from Chen about the NSA at all in the article, other than what Kevin wrote. Where did it come from?

It was Kevin who said it and anyways BlackBerry sort of already started on capitalizing on it when they wrote a letter going against their MDM competitor Samsung KNOX.

Posted via CB10

Been shouting this from the rooftops since the first whispers of a new OS. Thank goodness Chen is in the driving seat, I feel like this company has a future with him involved.

Security has become a particularly pertinent topic over the last 4-6 months and it's beginning to reach the ears of your everyday consumer. Blackberry is in the unique position to be able to truly afford a brand positioning based around security. In my humble opinion, and as painful as it is to say, the best route forward would be to slowly fade out the handset side of the business whilst working on an OS overlay which acts as a security blanket for mobile os's.

I shall call it - Blackberry Barricade

1. QNX must be pushed into the internet infrastructure asap! It's the perfect candidate for the next generation Internet in the name of freedom. QNX becomes the real-time (message passing and secure) kernel of an ubiquitous high performance service bus. BlackBerry should maybe try to get e.g. Cisco involved in this phase, before Google does another partnership with some other big player to push their fu.g js v8 into the routers?!$#*+%^£$
2. I don't want to see my documents exposed to any Android sharing symlink(seriously: i would not expect to find out that on my "secure" BlackBerry as I did recently with my big disappointment) and frankly, I'd like to be able to get rid of the android runtime altogether.
Make it right please... and change the name of the company into QNX with different divisions e.g:
QNX mobile/ QNX automotive / QNX RTP

QNX is already running cisco's monster routers, providing the backbone for the Internet.
Good idea though.

Posted via CB10

Nice to see a positive piece of journalism, that explores the stumbles and falls but also the opportunities for recovery and return

Posted via CB10

Easiest way to poke fun of other systems is to write a little virus which directs the phone to a BlackBerry server showing security features of BlackBerry 10 devices. Install this virus with BBM for Android and iOS ;-)

Posted via CB10

They didn't. Mention about TAT, the astonishing tribe as part of their portfolio how come? Kevin Michaluk if you see this please do comment or any can you please repost to any of the CrackBerry member thanks, BlackBerry forever.

Posted via CB10

I fully agree that BlackBerry should plays it's security theme. But it needs to advertise the advantages and the caveats very clearly. It would be nice to have a good presentation on how to best use BlackBerry to maximise security. This is particularly important with banking and purchasing apps, but also private communications.

Posted via CB10

Finally... I've been saying this for nine months now. Even started something on it in the forums.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

Not to be inflammatory, but If this quote is remotely true, Apple fans are more crazy than I imagined:

"...sales of the iPhone drive use of the App Store, which drives sales of the iPad, which drives sales of content via iTunes, which drives sales of the MacBook, and so on."

Buying a Macbook for iTunes is extreme, to say the least. Macbooks are not cheap.