From the Editor's Desk: One year ago tonight...

By Kevin Michaluk on 20 Jan 2014 01:03 am EST

I was sitting in a condo high above Toronto, Canada, snapping the photo you see above and posting this from the editor's desk entry. I had arrived in the big smoke earlier that day with my (future) bro-in-law @jayhum, getting ready for what we knew would be a crazy month of work which we hoped would also have a little fun mixed in. The next day Adam Zeis, Bla1ze and Simon Sage all arrived in town, and we took possession of our one month condo rental which we dubbed CrackBerry's BlackBerry 10 Launch Campaign Headquarters

Coming home from CES 2013, we decided to go ALL IN on the BlackBerry 10 launch. If you're reading this and were following CrackBerry at the time, you know the excitement we were feeling and the high we were on. Of course, part of that high wasn't related to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch event but rather what we were drinking... upon Bla1ze's demand we bought up every can of Full Throttle within a 45 minute radius of HQ, which kept us going around the clock day after day after day. :)

That month in Toronto was honestly one of the most memorable times of my life. There were so many great moments. Hell, there were even S P E C T A C U L A R moments (jump to 2m15s in the video below to see what I mean):

Though the BB10 launch in 2013 ultimately didn't pan out as successful as we had hoped it would be for BlackBerry, looking back I'm so glad we tackled the launch the way we did. We left nothing on the table. No regrets.

Looking ahead to 2014, BlackBerry is in a different situation. There's no BIG BANG launch to get hyped up for like there was last year (that said, I am really looking forward to the rollout of 10.2.1).

It's a new year, there's a new chief in town, and from my perspective, this philosophy of leaving nothing on the table is still in play, more so than ever. However, this year it will be a different strategy and execution on my end. 

Many of you have noticed that the last few months of 2013 I was more hands-off on my day to day CrackBerry blogging than ever in the past. A BIG part of that was the need to shift my attention back to my other duties as Chief Media Officer of Mobile Nations (which I mainly neglected the first half of 2013 as we crushed the BB10 launch and got Talk Mobile off the ground). The other (smaller) part of it was simply needing a bit of a break from it. I was exhausted. I needed some time to collect my thoughts, regroup and get re-energized. Mission accomplished on that front - I am ready for 2014. 

My job this year is to make sure our voices -- the voices of the BlackBerry users, fans, loyalists and shareholders -- are heard clearly and heard loudly.

As we did in 2013, we'll be pushing hard across all fronts to take our Mobile Nations network to yet another level of awesome - you can expect to see me doing a lot of things this year. That said, I'll be making sure to never lose sight of my CrackBerry duties. I've followed this company so long, so closely that it will always be part of who I am. I want it to succeed. I'm more passionate about the company now than I was in 2006 when we were getting ready to launch the CrackBerry site. At the point I just liked the phone and thought it would be cool if there was site to talk about it! 

Some of you already noticed my upswing on the blogs this week. Expect to see that continue this year. Lots of editorials from me. And lots of questions and polls too so we can feel where CrackBerry Nation is at on an ongoing basis.

There is SOOO MUCH CHANGE happening at BlackBerry right now with the appointment of John Chen. There are lots of people leaving the company that we have known so well for many years. And there are lots of people coming into BlackBerry who very likely are not that familiar with CrackBerry and our crazy-awesome community.

My job this year is to make sure our voices -- the voices of the BlackBerry users, fans, loyalists and shareholders -- are heard clearly and heard loudly. We'll sing praises when they're earned. We won't be shy in voicing our concerns. We'll provide lots of ideas. Some will be great, others... maybe not so much. We'll get them out there though so they all are heard. There will be no sugarcoating in 2014, but we will remain optimistic.

Wherever the future of BlackBerry lies, wherever things continue to go from here, by being part of this community you'll be playing a leading role in the next chapter of the BlackBerry story. And I can't wait to see where this story goes!


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: One year ago tonight...

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What a great month that was! Let's BlackBerry has more in store for us in the coming year!

Posted via CB10

Oh yeahhh. Buy all the BBRY stocks. I'm all in too. Will cash out @ over 100$. :-)). #BBRY4ever #ichooseBB10 #lightsout

Try not to DIE for success

Hey Kevin!! Overall have you settled on virtual or physical keyboard!? Ps do your next event in Niagara Falls!!!

Posted via CB10 for Z10

Oh, nothing "happens"... these last couple of years I've become pretty well versed in all platforms and all things mobile, so I'll weigh in with contributions whenever and wherever it makes sense to. You know me... I love PHON.ES!!!!!!! 

Thanks Kevin for giving us a sense of what we can expect in 2014 from Crackberry!!Times have definitely changed the last 3 months, but so far so good. I expect Chen to continue to show us the way. Right now BES10 and QNX are a top priority, but would still expect top quality devices to be pushed out as well...Let's have a great year BlackBerry!!!

Via The BlackBerry Z10 Experience.

Hey, awesome Kevin!!!
I liked it when you were having the paper cranes poured on you, it was kinda......... broke back mountain moment.

Catapulted from my Z10.

God, while reading the first half of this post I was getting anxious to just get to the part where you resigned as crackberry head writer to focus on your mobile nations duties. I was pleasantly surprised when things took a turn from what I was expecting. Will look forward to reading your posts....

Posted via CB10

Lol. I don't think "Founder and Fearless Leader of CrackBerry Nation" is something you can actually resign from, even if you ever wanted to. :)

Unless, you know.. maybe if JC came calling with lots of stock options, I'd have to figure something out!!

Lol, never say never, right? :) The CrackBerry team does a great job of "filling in" during those moments when your own posts are infrequent, but I think the ebbs and flows of your contributions definitely are noticed by the Nation. Have you thought about "handing over" the EiC reigns to someone else? Given your MN responsibilities/priorities, this might help ensure more consistent contributions and editorial direction, even when you are unable to post for whatever reason. Of course, you could still contribute as much or as little as you'd like, but the site would be less "dependent" on you from a content standpoint.

I just see Phil's involvement on AC and wonder if it's reached the point where your MN and CB duties are too much for one person... Or, maybe there just isn't as much to write about regarding BlackBerry... :-/ Either way, I know it's hard to "let go," but it could be a good opportunity for one of the MN rising stars and probably take some of the pressure off you as a content provider. But you could still have your own Op-Ed column and post freely. :)

That's not intended as a critique, negative comment, or anything...just throwing it out there as a constructive suggestion. :)

Well Kevin you couldn't be more correct about one thing. Is going to be an interesting year. Lots of unknowns thus far, but time will clear that up. :)

Posted via CB10

CBKevin, you're the only person I know that calls Toronto "the big smoke"; nobody that has lived her for over a decade calls it that, lol.

It's also strange to hear it as Toronto, Canada vs Toronto, Ontario, Canada - but I guess it's all the same since there are 3 Toronto's in the USA.

Weapon of choice Z10, Full Metal CB10!

Awesome, Kevin you doing a great job on all front,crackberry, sure does make a hell of a lot different when it comes to voicing out the views.

Posted via CB10

Great post Kevin. I'm hoping it will be a positive year for BlackBerry in some way.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!


May I suggest that your team can do the following with CrackBerry - since BlackBerry is consolidating and doubling up to push forward and all.

Might request:
1. Unified login with Twitter and native login accounts,
2. Unify the blog post comments to threads in the forums - so many blog entries such as this have hyperlinks to co tinge the discussions in the forums, so why not have each blog entry actually be the first post in a new thread?!
- kills the annoying FIRST posts ;)
- the conversations are now unified and fluid,
- and people finally can Thank/Like comments directly from the blog conversations ;)

Maybe all mobile nations can do this.

Weapon of choice Z10, Full Metal CB10!

Thanks so much Kevin(as always) for voicing out our opinions and keeping this community ALIVE!
We all laaaaaaaaaaaaavvvv you! :D

Crazy times last January... crazy 2014...

Hope so that this year BlackBerry comes back again being a strong company...

Posted via CB10

I use a Z10 since the first days of its availability and just recently I got 3 co workers convinced to get the Z30 as a company phone ( we are iffered to get iPhones or BB10 devices here in Switzerland) and they were prepared to keep expectations low to what they were used and you know what? We call the bb10 devices nowadays the high class professional Android devices ;) since the runtime is great and we still can use the whole bes10 features which is simply better than any office integration I have seen before (was an android guy using an S3). With battery runtime of the z30 being better than iPhones their expectations were all way above of what they were prepared for :-)

All in all I think once the iPhone hype has calmed down a little, it will be blackberry time again. And it seems that blackberry has enough ressources to keep themselfs alive and prepare for better times.

Love my Z10 and wauting to get 10.2.1for even more fun....

Posted via CB10

Back in the saddle? That just brings a picture of Kevin and the gang playing on a mechanical bull in the office to my mind. Hmm... Kevin, I'm wondering if you guys actually have a mechanical bull in the office? It could be fun on those days Blaze is hyped up on Full Throttle. :)

Posted via my super-duper Z10

Definitely a big turn from how you were maybe 5 months ago. You nearly vanished from CB, realization came in for many of us. So glad to have had these outcomes though, I think John Chen definitely helped bring us all back to BlackBerry and believe again. Really looking forward to what happens. I'm definitely keeping all of my shares and I'm in for the long-haul. Keep up the great work Kevin!

- Developer of 'Web Design Cheat Sheet' for BB10 (Posted via CB10)

Thx for the high caliber site and kept it clean all these years. The hard work behind the CB is greatly appreciated. Thx again.

Posted via CB10

Welcome back Kevin.. you were never far away. January 2013 was fun with the CrackBerry Live shows late into the evening. That was the best.

As far as our voices being heard clearly and loudly, this fragmentation with the BlackBerry 10 OS has to improve! I myself am running, however the fragmentation is not allowing some more common folk to realize the benefits of BlackBerry 10. It is definitely not helping the turnaround of BlackBerry. All the engineering and coding and effort going into the platform and no bang for the buck. That's what can make it an exciting year. Incremental OS updates! and never going back.

I can't wait! This site keeps me coming back day after day, hour after hour, since 2008....I'm a true C rack berry addict. Thanks Kevin!!!

Posted via CB10

Has it been a year already? I remember staying up all night for launch and hanging out in the video chat with You Kevin, Bla1ze and Simon. It was a lot of fun. Then to be the first Prosumer to get a Z10 before even the launch event in Toronto was just and still is the best feeling. Here's to a new year and new great things for BB10!!!!

Posted via CB10

I'll be right with you in 2014 Kevin! Thanks for all the excellent work. I just got myself a Z30, even though my Z10 is still in fine working order, to support BB and to ensure that whatever happens in the coming years, I have some devices stacked up to see me through if for some reason BB phones become too scarce...

Btw: I like you current hairstyle quite a lot more than pre-launch mop. Know you were making a point, but glad that that is over now...

Yeah let's get it rolling CrackBerrians!

10 more days to the 1st anniversary of #BB10. Perhaps the 10.2.1 will start its roll out on that day?? I'm in!

Sent from CB10 app on my STA-2

"My job this year is to make sure our voices -- the voices of the BlackBerry users, fans, loyalists and shareholders -- are heard clearly and heard loudly."

10.2.1 for all... would be a good start.
I feel sorry for those still waiting for 10.2
When I moved up to 10.2 it was really great.

Also it would be nice if they advertised the Z30, so many people out there have no clue it exists. People have blinkers on and all they see and are fed is Apple or Samsung ad's. If that's all they see that's all they know and that's what they will end up buying...

Take care and have a good one.

I personally felt the site went downhill late last year around the time you neglected it so hopefully you can give some positive time.

A lot of reflecting and words so good luck.

After all, you could see the passion and drive you had with your articles and that got me back for more.

there's a lot of content lately but it doesn't help when it's not all that interesting.

Anyways good to see you revitalise and ready to bring in 2014 :)

Good read, I can visualize in your writing very easily. I have to say though Kevin, it is getting increasingly difficult to fully enjoy these articles when the first page of comments are ultra-negative banter on who comments first. I suppose I could ignore it, but I don't think I'm alone.

Posted via CB10

I remember that very happy and hopeful feeling the day of the press conference. I was hoping that BlackBerry of old was going to become a better and more productive company. 2013 was a major letdown and I now find myself loving my Z10, having great hope for the BB10 platform, but still finding myself looking to maybe try an Android phone. I'm really hoping that 2014 turns BB around and they still try to remain somewhat relevant to the consumer market.

Sweet. Totally understand the need to step back and regroup. Here's to a better year, hopefully.

BB Uniq BB Bold -Z10 with 1925

It doesn't look like it from this shot, but that was a fun, crazy couple of weeks. Macklemore and Indie Apartment Party on non-stop loop. Still really happy with the Z10 photos I took there. 

On my Z10 using the CB app your picture doesn't show up.

But I saw it on my tablet. Photography is a hobby of mine and I think you have taken a nice shot.

Be nice if the picture showed up using the CB app on my Z10 though.

Take care and have a good one.

Keep up the nice work Kevin! I don't think 2014 will be as exciting as 2013 was for BlackBerry but I had a lot of fun following everything via CrackBerry. Here's for 2014!

good read,,, sounds like you've (re)found yourself,,, good for you,,, this place is more fun when you're lurkin' around & jumpin' in...

Thanks Kevin and the entire Crackberry Team for making 2013 as positive as possible under the circumstances. It had to be frustrating knowing how hard the BlackBerry employees worked. All this while most of the world did not even realize BB10 existed. Even worse, their efforts resulted in a bunch of pink slips.
You mentioned that 2014 will not be as exciting. I beg to differ. BlackBerry 10 now has the chance to be noticed for the right reasons. Mr. Chen has generated more positive news regarding BlackBerry than all of 2013. For you and the majority of us on this site, not having the media try and pinpoint BlackBerry's funeral makes for a better year. For that very reason, 2014 looks to be one of the best years in a long time for BlackBerry. Exactly what BlackBerry deserves. Credit, Respect and a Brilliant Future.

Posted via CB10

I live in Venezuela, one of the countries where blackberry had the greatest success, I really hope blackberry to keep going, I've had my z10 since May and keeps working awesome, all my friends have other phones and they can't believe that I still supporting blackberry cause they say that this branch will disappear but I always say that they think like that because they haven't tried the BB10 OS and I encourage then to do it, so I hope this year would be a lot better. :)

Posted via CB10

I've traded in my playbook for a galaxy note 8, which made me buy an unused older glalaxy s slider running jelly bean, but I still come back here, because I like the site, and hope that bb might yet come out with a qwerty with a larger touchscreen and reinstate the featrues I liked in os7 or the new ones I discovered in jelly bean. Sigh.

Instagram&Line chat by Naver Japan is very popular in Asia. If it releases the official one,I guarantee boosting sales. I wait these two app for a year and still don't have any sign.