Tuesday, July 3, 2012

RIM! What the hell?

Seriously. I apparently will never be an executive of any sort. I decided this long ago, because I cared too much about quality, retaining customers, doing the right thing for the long term safety of the organization, not kissing ass, and behaving ethically (that's another story). But lately, it's because people who fly places in helicopters are totally insane. 

RIM has taken the Cosmo quiz, and found that "Your sales are in a nosedive due to a lack of compelling products, and an excessively-long roadmap to a major platform shift." Naturally, they follow the tabloid advise column and go with "fire everyone who does a good job, and push the schedule out vaguely further." No matter how you try to explain it, there is always an underpants-gnome logic gap that I cannot follow.

If I was the King of Waterloo (King of n is my term for: in charge in such a way no one can reasonably thwart my efforts) I would do one of two things:
  1. Double down on the existing platform. Even if it almost seems like a backtrack.
  2. Push forward timetables for the platform shift. Not to abandon the next one early, but to show off progress as soon as possible. 
There's much nuance. Here, I'd mostly likely have the hardware guys go to their drawer of rejects (No! I'd go there myself and challenge them on the spot) to come up with a good update, a new-but-but-buildable concept, and a crazy-but-possibly-stupid idea. All are greenlit today. I want them in stores in 120 days. I know what's involved, there are cheats. It can be done. 

And there are ways to split the difference. Offer good current-level product updates, but also get BB 10 products not just into videos and on stage, but into developer hands tomorrow. Okay, you have 30 days to make crummy products that we'll distribute at a developer conference. Google Glass (insane and far future) can be ordered by developers last week! By the way, I fire the handful of executives who have screwed up everything so far. On stage at the developer conference.  

I don't see how hard it is to just go to the people who get work done. Don't fire 5,000, but get a list of the 12 crazy new enterprise products that were conceived of in the past 24 months, and invite a handful of the guys who wrote the decks (I mean the tech architects and the UX people and the finance guys, not the executive sponsors) to give 30 minute presentations the day after tomorrow. Then, feed them and chat for 4 more hours. You almost don't need to know the technology: trust the people to do good work. Stop firing them. 

Okay, rant off regarding RIM. But I am sad that not only will another major OS/manufacturer die, but that this is the way of the world, and there's no reason to believe that say, B2G/Mozilla, will go anywhere either, unless they get some sales executives who play golf with the right manufacturers and operators. The

No comments: