John Chen has a master plan for BlackBerry and as highlighted earlier in a famously straightforward LinkedIn blog post from the BlackBerry CEO titled 'Don't Believe The Hype', he's not going to stray away from that plan just for some short term hype or to chase trends, despite pressure to do so.
That plan as we know it includes BlackBerry focusing and building upon their security foundation by introducing new solutions and offerings for enterprise rather than on the consumer market because that's what is going to lead to the long-term success of BlackBerry, not an endorsement from Kim Kardashian or rumors and speculation about BlackBerry's plans for the Chinese market.
There is always the temptation to make statements that feed sensationalism, or make executive decisions that chase hype and trends. I have found telling it like it is the best thing to do, even if it hurts in the short-run, because it builds a foundation of trust over the long-term. And that is the time frame I operate in.
For example, recently I've been advised to capitalize on Kim Kardashian's pronouncements that BlackBerry phones are her "heart and soul," or talk up plans to enter the China market, however preliminary they are today. I am grateful for Kim's loyalty and respect her passion for BlackBerry, but it is not the right time for us to focus on the consumer market. Our focus right now is on extending our legendary security foundation with new solutions for the enterprise. Nothing is making us waver from that strategy.
That doesn't mean that we are giving up on our many phone fans, as you can tell from the recently-released BlackBerry Passport and the soon-to-be-released BlackBerry Classic. But we cannot and will not chase sensationalism. As for China, rest assured that we are developing a well-thought-out plan that will take into account many factors, including timing and our long-term strategy. It won't be rushed because it's exciting or turned away from because of security concerns. And it won't include a takeover.
I will always take a rational approach and long-term view. As thrilling as riding the hype or letting the crowd dictate my tactics may feel in the short run, it will hurt in the long run. Build trust and be clear on your priorities and know that the right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision. That philosophy should serve you and your organization well, whatever situation you are in.
For BlackBerry and Chen, it's a sound strategy that's already turning positive results and while I'll refrain from using patient / operating room metaphors, there's still lots of work to be done in the long-term. But at least now BlackBerry has someone thinking about the long-term whereas before, that never seemed to be the case.
I have to admit though, despite Chen stating they're not going to chase hype and trends, the fact he even mentioned those things seems like a tossing of the bone to keep us hanging onto his every word. Not that we wouldn't anyway, but I'm sure he wants to make sure everyone is paying attention, not just the people already interested in BlackBerry.