CrackBerry Asks: Do you think it's okay to bash tech companies?

By Adam Zeis on 13 Apr 2012 02:47 pm
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 Mr. Met  

We had a video clip sent in earlier today (see it after the break) and it sparked a bit of conversation at CrackBerry HQ. Seen in the video is Arlene Dickinson (of Canada's Dragons Den) on the show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. A few minutes into the interview Arlene, talking a bit about innovation, comments on how she hates "when people slam RIM" and asks "why don't we support it, it's Canadian?". From here the two relate the tech/business industry to professional sports, in that it's all about 24/7 headlines and constant scrutiny.

When you think about it, it really does makes sense. As tech fans/geeks/lovers we constantly seek out stories and information about our favorite (or least favorite) companies. There are supporters and non-supporters, so much like arguing about your favorite sports team, we are quick to bash companies we hate while praising the ones we love - no matter how they are seen to the general public.

For example - I'm a Mets fan and a BlackBerry lover. I'll admit the Mets aren't the greatest, but I show my support for them no matter what. They've had some crappy seasons as of late, but I'm a fan and I vow to stick by them in hopes they'll come out on top. Same goes for RIM - I love my BlackBerry, and through ups and downs, I stick with it. While others are quick to bash RIM for whatever reason of the day, I see the good and don't jump to any conclusions. Obviously Kevin is BlackBerry Fanboy #1 (with the future Mrs. CrackBerry by his side) and will fight for RIM no matter what as well. We know they've been struggling, but as Arlene says here, they have the finances and are still moving forward, so why shouldn't we support them? 

So what we want to know is - do you get upset when people bash companies? I understand if you own stock in a certain company it sort of earns you the right to complain -- to an extent -- but what about your average Job? Let us know what you think in the poll above, then sound off in the comments. Keep reading for the full interview with Arlene Dickinson.

46 comments

xandermac

Has absolutely zero to do with whether you buy the products or own the stock. Any company is fair game.

auditman

any company has a good and bad points. just some people tend to see the bad part more than the good.

biggulpseh

I say this to people all the time and it seems they just don't care. "Who cares if they're Canadian, the iPhone is way better" or "They're barely Canadian, they've got people working overseas". That's just ridiculous quite frankly. RIM is based in Canada and has TONS of Canadian employees. They're the hub of the tech industry in Waterloo and Canada, and their success means a huge amount to thousands of people, not just RIM employees.

They've made a huge number of mistakes in the past and through this transition, but I'll always love RIM. The way they've tried to better themselves throughout everything has been inspiring, and seeing the way guys like Alec Saunders and Alex Kinsella interact with normal people just shows how much the employees want the company to succeed. I've always thought RIM was something to be proud of in Canada and I hope it always will.

mdsf

Well said, sir!

+1

martinjdub

+1
RIM employs thousands of jobs directly in Canada, and many 10s of thousands here and abroad...directly and indirectly.

I'm a fanboy but even if I wasn't, BlackBerry is Canada's high tech ice hockey team.

ianchristie1972

I will stick with RIM, have been with them for 6-7 years. It would take some really major problems with BB10 devices or they don't get their act together on fulfilling promises for me to go else where.

DAnklaud

When i bash at RIM , its to make a point, in NO way does this mean i have stopped supporting them, it just means they need to listen as i point out problems or missing features that *allow* the other companies the advantage they have *over* RIM (as a Canadian i have high hopes for RIM,even if I have to poke them with sharp words to get they're *Research in Motion*)

westex#WP

I think there is a difference between honest criticism and trolling. I see no problem whatsoever about voicing your complaints and opinion about a product and what RIM should or should not be doing. I don't think that you should have people throwing out baseless, incendiary remarks just to rile up the user base.
This happens in every industry, and nationality has no bearing on what someone should say or think. I have been as critical of RIM as anybody, (honestly, how could you not be?), but it's because I LOVE my Blackberry and want them to make kick ass successful products. I have thrown so much money at RIM, I feel like I should have the right to say how I feel.

scalemaster34

Difference is a Sports Team can do badly for a couple of years but your never going to hear anyone talk about them closing the doors (maybe moving).

But if a Tech Company makes some bad decisions (or worse, does nothing for too long)... they can easily become a blip in the history books.

crozyBB

Tell that to the Atlanta Thrashers...or Jets, Nordiques, Whalers in the 90's.

pmccartney

I think he meant 'real' sports teams...just kidding.
Even the teams you mentioned failed for much longer than 2 years before being bought/relocated. All of those teams were in the NHL for 12 to 23 seasons and the WHA before that.

DenverRalphy

I'm a sports fan with my favorite teams, and don't really care if fans of other teams knock on my team. All's fair in love and war right? But I can also recognize when my team is sucking rocks, and can recognize when the opposing team does well.

On the plus side... I don't ever recall rioting in the streets as a result of a tech equivalent to a championship sports matchup.

costas1966

Criticism is healthy to provide feedback to ANY company. When the criticism takes on the ugly air of taking "sides" and bashing the company because some of us like certain products and others like different products, then it becomes useless.

diegonei

There is healthy criticism and there is bashing.

I don't think ANY kind of bashing is good. At all.

Competition and criticism on the other hand is where got us where we are. I love it when competition pushes companies to provide US with better goods/services.

kazn3r

News always comes after rumors. No rumors are good nor bad, they are simply rumors. The stock market is run on rumors and the public's perception is based upon news.

A good example of annoying bashing is a crackberry member, after taking time to sign up, bashing RIM for their, usually, lack of customer satisfaction.

My girlfriend and I have the same phone, but for some reason my phone just works better than hers. She constantly asks "when is the next iPhone coming out? I hate my BlackBerry." I respond with "well there are several iPhones on the market right now, so if you don't like your BlackBerry, after seeing how well mine performs, you can either take some advice from me and learn how to use your phone, or you can go buy an iPhone." There are those that understand technology and those that never will.

drummer_god

i am Canadian!
go Blackberry and CFL football.

dmroberts8

Everyone has a right to voice their opinion, and thanks to social media, it is much easier for the common person to be heard.

What bugs me is the people that just jump on the bandwagon either will praise or criticize, but do not take the time to really evaluate the product or situation.

iPhones no doubt get lots of praise because people just have a woody for Apple, and RIM gets trashed by many because it seems to be the en vogue thing to do. It is silly really.

djghettoredneck

I always say, to each their own. You like what you like, I like what I like. I don't bash anyone for choosing something different than myself. I love my RIM devices and will always love my RIM devices. Doesn't mean I hate on other platforms.

dkonigs

A lot of people like the "to each their own" attitude towards these sorts of arguments. Normally, that works out alright. The problem is when it starts to allow the sort of analyses and editorials that persuade just enough people that it winds up significantly affecting the market... And thus denying you the choice you want, because everyone else has been persuaded to join the other side.

I hope that made sense.

Puz_zled

Perfect sense. Make no mistake. Market share FOLLOWS opinion share with a time lag of about a year. And there is a major battle for opinion share being fought right now with major American tech companies for the hearts and minds of a)developers
B)corporate IT decision makers
And c)consumers
Opinion matters especially with BB10 in its beginning stages.
I know I am simply stating the obvious here.

Sent from my BlackBerry Playbook

s7khan

Companies that go through a bad period face criticism. People shouldn't be so bent out of shape about it. As much as the US Supreme Courts want to say it, corporations are not people, they don't have feelings.

flyersfan76

Who cares unless it is Facebook, Instagram, Google, Comca$t and the like.

I would rather bash companies that produce a tangible product however.

Google doesn't count as they were grandfathered in to my rule before they bought a Motorola MOBILITY.

:)

PineappleUnderTheSea

Both the love of a sports team and a BB can be due to an emotional connection: your Daddy loved the Leafs, so that means you love the Leafs. A Blackberry was the very first smartphone you ever owned at a time when only certain privileged people could own one, so that means you'll always love BB because you are emotionally bonded to it.

Emotional connections to things trump any rational thought. Which is why people will always make things seem better than they are. So you do need the "bashers", up to a point. to counter the blind love. Nothing wrong with that. Unless it gets nasty and personal, as it has lately.

corymcnutt

Supporting a tech company is NOTHING like supporting a sports team. Supporting a sports team is like supporting your local high school, band, etc.; with them you have an emotional connection, and, just like loving a person, you can overlook certain things.

When you go out and PURCHASE a product, you expect it to work as advertised. You expect it to be leading edge technology, at least for the moment. I was VERY loyal to BlackBerry when I had my Pearl and Storm2...loved them both. But how long am I supposed to be loyal to a company that is making poor decisions, for whatever reason? How long am I to wait for their "next generation" phone when companies all around them are coming out with dual-core processors, a gig of memory, BIG screens, LTE, and more apps? I finally went to a Bionic (and love it) because I wanted those items NOW...and even to this day (and the forseeable future) I would still be waiting for BlackBerry to "catch-up."

BlackBerry had poor leadership and did not make changes early enough, for whatever reason. So if you want to blindly stay loyal and wait and wait, then that is your right...but it is also my right to be disappointed in them and to criticize them. I don't go out of my way to bad mouth them, I feel sorry for the company because of what it once was and what it should be and of what it has become. Even if they produce a large, up-to-date, touchscreen phone, will they have the support of the app designers, etc. to make it popular and grow its market share?

I truly hope they make it, and, if I see they make a product that is competitive, I will wait and see if it gains support, and possibly go back to BlackBerry...but until they prove themselves, I will be skeptical and complain about them, if asked!

dentynefire

While the Pearl was my first smart phone and I love it today (as a small mp3 player) I totally agree. I don't think RIM even wanted the consumer space and was happy to let Apple and Android have it....until they woke up!

One thing though I don't think its too late for BB. Angry Birds Space while not launching with the other platforms only took 2 weeks to arrive! Developers will want another platform to sell their apps into since many are invisible in larger app stores.

There is so much potential with the QNX platform and most importantly it doesn't have any of the weaknesses of the old BBOS !!!

There is something else that gives me HOPE. BlackBerry IS changing. If they were not changing they wouldn't be in transition. So most of the negativity is by translation old and irrelevant.

CHIP72

Only if it's RIM that's getting slammed. :)

In all seriousness, my attitude is compliment when warranted, criticize when warranted. RIM deserves compliments for the quality of the Playbook, and deserves criticism for failing to upgrade the OS on their handsets already (Blackberry 10 OS should have been released no later than the second half of 2011 IMO).

Darlaten

I have no problems hearing and reading about criticism and complaints from users regarding any technology or product that they have purchased.

If anything, the only problem I have is dealing with users who are so delusional that they refuse to see any mistakes in their chosen technology company. I swear some members on these forums have tied their personality so closely to that of RIM that when the smallest negative comment is mentioned, they go into psychological distress; lashing out with hostility and hatred to the person who posted the criticism.

I'd rather read constructive criticism any day than the comments made by blind, fan-boy/girls who feel compelled to proselytize on the mound.

dkonigs

I think the more faithful one is to a platform, the more capable they can be of giving realistic and constructive criticism. However they also now have a vested interest in not allowing that criticism to be used to fuel the arguments of the other side.

Therefore, I'll gladly tell you all of the problems I see with RIM's platforms in private. But you'll never see me posting that information in any environment where "the competition" will be able to harp on it and use it to crap all over RIM (as they currently love doing).

olblueyez

Large Corporations are a cancer and you guys are asking this?

Magnesus

Bashing is often helpful and can save people money. Why? Because positive reviews are often bought. You can though quite easy recognise the weak points of the product from bashing reviews and decide how much they matter to you (and your desired way of using the product). That is how I read reviews of movies on imbd for example.

ice4u2

Looks like Canadians and people in the States or the same in this.

In the US we care about quality and the experience (much like everyone else). That's why although GM, Ford, and Chrysler are American companies until a few years ago most people drove "foreign" cars in the US. Most bashed them...that is...until they improved their quality. Today it's not a bad thing to say you drive a Ford etc.

RIM seems to be how those car companies were a few years ago. Basically resting on the accomplishments of the past. The reason why those car companies were in a rut (even in their own back yard...like RIM) is because they made amazing strides years ago...but nothing today.

I like RIM (own stock as well). But if RIM wants to kick ass then they need to do one thing. Drop a device that changes the way everyone from the executive to the 16 yr old looks at a phone. Unfortunately, RIM is so behind it looks like even BB10 will just put it at par with everything else out there. Until RIM does this, it should expect a lashing.

up488

I don't care who says what about any company! I make my own decisions!

BlueNoserBESguy

If you don't know shit about operating systems, don't say shit about operating systems. Media included.

oddlyshaped

Bashing is an ambiguous term in this situation. Obviously, libel is unacceptable. Opinion and criticism is fine, and should really be accepted and evaluated (objectively).

I've supported RIM, I've marketed and supported them and their products when I worked there. However, I will not buy a product I consider inferior just because it's Canadian. If a company depends on people to buy their products just to support them, then they have big problems they need to resolve. Canada would be better represented by a company that evolves to continue to be competitive than a company kept alive by people buying their product out of pity. Should RIM rebound from this by delivering a good product, we should be proud of them.

RIM may be making money, but they have a shrinking market share in a quickly growing segment. They have missed earnings five quarters in a row and posted a loss last quarter. They are selling the PB at a loss and are not delivering products and features they promised. Objectively speaking, these are very bad signs and I don't see why one wouldn't be permitted to mention them.

lawguyman

The Mets stink,

Love,
A Yankee Fan

P.S. - RIM is only a company that is in business solely to make money for its shareholders. Don't get too attached.

martinjdub

I'm a fanboy but even if I wasn't....

BlackBerry is Canada's high tech ice hockey team, nuff said.

Iehoa

Nice to see RIM still in business. My BB Tour is still working. Not as advanced as others and now Lookout Mobile just informed me that they are no longer supporting my Tour but I'm still patiently waiting for a new, fresh, leading edge BB10 device to buy. I have just enough money to spend on a RIM product and am just waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting for that Waterloo company to come out with an amazing product. Even that american company, what is their name, oh yeah Apple, has their products made OUTSIDE of the north american area. Everything seems to be made "overseas". I'm sick and tired of everyone seeming to outsource to a place where the price of manufacturing is so much cheaper. I'm frustrated with the term "made in America" is gone the way of the "dodo". Canada I assume is no different. Companies just don't seem to get it. Sending work overseas just means that the citizens inside the country go without income. Eventually people won't be able to pay for much but food and essentials. We tend to forget that the people they want to buy their products won't be able to because they lost those same jobs the companies sent overseas. Just like healthcare here in the US. A healthy population is a working population. As long as people profit from the sick and dying we will continue down this path. So goes the working population. Send jobs overseas and no one will be able to purchase those same products. A working population is a population that will have money to purchase those same products. Let's not bash those companies like RIM and support them. I consider Canada as our family to the north. I will support them before I buy a product from an American company that has their products made overseas. But I do realize that the world is not just as easy since my Blackberry Tour is made in Mexico. Go figure.............

Iehoa

Nice to see RIM still in business. My BB Tour is still working. Not as advanced as others and now Lookout Mobile just informed me that they are no longer supporting my Tour but I'm still patiently waiting for a new, fresh, leading edge BB10 device to buy. I have just enough money to spend on a RIM product and am just waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting for that Waterloo company to come out with an amazing product. Even that american company, what is their name, oh yeah Apple, has their products made OUTSIDE of the north american area. Everything seems to be made "overseas". I'm sick and tired of everyone seeming to outsource to a place where the price of manufacturing is so much cheaper. I'm frustrated with the term "made in America" is gone the way of the "dodo". Canada I assume is no different. Companies just don't seem to get it. Sending work overseas just means that the citizens inside the country go without income. Eventually people won't be able to pay for much but food and essentials. We tend to forget that the people they want to buy their products won't be able to because they lost those same jobs the companies sent overseas. Just like healthcare here in the US. A healthy population is a working population. As long as people profit from the sick and dying we will continue down this path. So goes the working population. Send jobs overseas and no one will be able to purchase those same products. A working population is a population that will have money to purchase those same products. Let's not bash those companies like RIM and support them. I consider Canada as our family to the north. I will support them before I buy a product from an American company that has their products made overseas. But I do realize that the world is not just as easy since my Blackberry Tour is made in Mexico. Go figure.............

Demandred7

There is a big difference between trolls going onto websites and bashing to demoralize and media agencies that figure that bad news sells stories and those people that are providing constructive criticism. My problem is with the former two of those. Eventually all the talk of a company no longer being relevant becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you reported it often enough. To the point that in the example of RIM that given enough naysayers, there will come a point that no product they release will ever be good enough to overwhelm the concern of investing hard-earned cash in their product. Talk of war often results in war because people prepare for it, they bring themselves ever closer to the very thing you say you don't want. Anyone remember the nuclear arms race? Sometimes people want to hear good news, but, if you are going to criticize, make it constructive.

kazakoshi

No, I don't agree with bashing. IMO, bashing is just negative, giving anyone nothing constructive but bad taste (I guess... except for those bashing) . You should be able to voice whatever shortcomings without bashing them.

Raging_Investor_Mike

As an investor I have noticed that there are tens or hundreds of so-called journalists who are paid for bashing companies. In case of RIM it´s quite obvious that RIM´s large hardware/software/IP portfolio represents unwanted competition. There is little doubt in my mind that some of RIM´s competitors have already spent a fortune on long-lasting anti RIM campaign. The reason for biasing RIM is crystal-clear. They want RIM at really low cost acquire or/and sold out. I hope this despicable behaviour won´t remain unnoticed.

With love to allthingsd, bgr, cnet, seekingalpha, all short sellers and of course………. APPLE.

leftypepper716

My last two devices have been BlackBerrys. 1st Sprint Curve 8330 and my current device, Sprint Bold 9930. I got my Bold 9930 the 1st day it was released, paid $250.00 for it and it's been great. However, If for some reason I was not happy with it, I have the right to complain and seek compensation (if it wasn't working properly). Remember, "The customer is ALWAYS right!"

WillieLee

She has a point when it comes to the absolute glee some Canadian outlets take in attacking RIM for any foible, real or imaginary. RIM showed that Canadian companies can compete on a global stage and they continue to promote innovation and learning within the country.

Some of the most negative comments and misinformation (such as the "they are abandoning the consumer market") comes from Canadian writers who seem to be embarrassed that a Canadian company would dare believe they can be an industry leader so they do all they can to tear RIM down.

It's not unique to RIM as the idea that Canadians should be subservient to the US is found in many areas of business and entertainment. It's a sad part of Canadian culture.

GeneralTech

It really depends on where your coming from with your criticism, one of the main reasons rim gets so much flack is because they were the top dog in the game, they called it crackberry because people were that addicted to their devices so to blackberry languish so far behind for so long creates bad feelings based on multiple reasons.

1. The quality of the product feels below par to the competition yet you are paying the same price as the competition so you feel ripped off when you see others with more capable devices and far more frustrated if your less capable device malfunctions in anyway, especially if you went on a two or three year contract to get it.

2. Blackberries have a long history of quality issues that were simply overlooked because they were cool, like a range rover which is one of the coolest vehicles you can own but is hit or miss on quality, the lamborghini countach was an absolutely horrible vehicle but it was cool. Some other company comes with a vehicle that looks just as great has some new innovations and it has more quality and reliablity and managed to not only create a brand that people covet as much as yours but make it a almost religious devotion, all of a sudden your lamborghini looks like some archaic fred flintstone go-cart. Your devoted followers wait in confidence for you to respond and as years fly by frustration leads to anger and eventually people begin to defect with a bitter taste in their mouths.

3. The history of blackberries over the last several years have been one where the company sells you a phone and a type of software that comes with it and within months come out with a new version that makes your phone obsolete, meanwhile the competition i.e the iphone 3G can be upgraded to still be relevant today, meanwhile the original blackberry storm that came shortly after is nothing but a paperweight, this created the conditions for people to be upset with rim long before the iphone ever came out.

4. Blackberry are thee best looking smartphones on the market bar none, blackberries are sexy looking phones, but they are a bit like a airhead blonde they entice you in with all its good looks and charms but its lack of capability makes is maddening, essentially she looks like somebody who has the beauty you would want to marry but in short order you find that she's a high maintenance pain in the ass that not only can't drive or cook she doesn't even know how to boil water, but at least when you get into bed each night she is great when you check her email but thats about all she's good for.

5. I think a great many canadians held out on switching to other devices because the company is canadian and feeling that frustration of screwed for being loyal adds to frustration.

6. the great loss of a lot of fortune to plummeting blackberry stock.