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Losing The Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by [McNish, Jacquie, Silcoff, Sean]
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Losing The Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Review

“Brilliantly relayed . . . It’s one helluva story.” (Toronto Star)

“Losing the Signal is a good old-fashioned insider’s business narrative, the kind we don’t see enough of these days, and it should scare the pants off most CEOs.” (Wall Street Journal (Bryan Burroughs, author of Barbarians at the Gate))

“Reading the inside story of the BlackBerry’s helpless flameout is like watching any other train wreck: You’re horrified, but you can’t look away.” (David Pogue, author of Pogue's Basics and founder of Yahootech.com)

“A tale of rivalries, jealousies and missed opportunities. You won’t be able to put it down.” (William Cohan, author of House of Cards and Money and Power)

“Losing the Signal tells of the marriage and divorce of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, how two opposites built RIM into a world-beater and how they lost it. This is first-class reporting that reads like a juicy novel, with one amazing story after another. A terrific book.” (Howard Green, author of Banking on America)

Product Description

It was a classic modern business story: two Canadian entrepreneurs build an iconic brand that would forever change the way we communicate. From its humble beginnings in an office above a bagel store in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry outsmarted the global giants with an addictive smartphone that generated billions of dollars. Its devices were so ubiquitous that even President Barack Obama favoured them above all others. But just as it was emerging as the dominant global player, BlackBerry took a dramatic turn.

Losing the Signal is the riveting, never-before-told story of one of the most spectacular technological upsets of the 21st century. Unlike Enron, which was undone by its executives' illegal activities, or Lehman Brothers, which collapsed as part of a larger global banking crisis, BlackBerry's rise and fall is a modern-day tale of the unrelenting speed of success and failure. It is a thrilling account of how two mismatched CEOs outsmarted more-powerful competitors with a combination of innovation and sharp-elbowed tactics; and how, once on top of the world, they lost their way. The company responded too slowly to competitors' innovations, and when it finally made its move, it stumbled with delayed, poorly designed and unpopular smartphones. A little more than a decade after Research In Motion introduced the BlackBerry, it is now struggling to survive. Its share of the US phone market fell from 50 per cent in 2009 to about one percent in 2013, showing just how aggressive, fast and unforgiving today's global business market can be.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1407 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (May 26 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MTTR94U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an Toronto based Executive managing IT teams for many years I always followed the RIM saga and was saddened when they went into decline. From the outside it seemed that the two founders had taken their eye of the ball once they were personally wealthy. Hockey teams or the Perimeter Institute seemed to have had priority over running the company

After reading this book it becomes clear that they never really had control of the company and the immense success of early Blackberries allowed them to charge ahead wrecklessly while ignoring all aspects of professional management including cost control and product planning. Extreme hubris!

I retired a couple of years ago to the Kitchener/Waterloo area and have observed first hand the immense positive impact they have had on these communities, which only makes their needless collapse that much more difficult to accept. Where were the Board of directors??

A must read for every entrepreneur and should be taught as an object lesson in every B School As I read it I was by turns angry, sad or horrified
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was sentimental after burning through "Losing the Signal" the newest installment on the rise and fall of BlackBerry. I will say it is the most accurate portrayal of the way things were at the company and despite lots of financial chops, it doesn't focus solely a-la-MBA-method on what was happening at the company and in the market.

Its nice to read an account that talks about the people, what they did and how they worked to take a company to the stratosphere. Its been too commonplace in recent years to be the butt jokes delivered by people that never aimed as high as many at RIM did every day. Armchair business quarter backs that never would have survived a week opine on how "stupid" everyone must have been to not see the writing on the walls. I'm proud and fortunate to have been part of the company. I hope that many people read this book and view the story as a human story of triumph and failure - but human always.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book, like a walk down memory lane, it reminded me just how valuable the Blackberry was at one point. Too bad the company was not able to adapt to changing conditions but it will always have its place among the greats of history for mobile communications.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have ever tried out the Playbook (Blackberry’s response to iPad) and wondered what on earth the company was thinking about launching such a poor product, you simply must read this book. The authors have done a brilliant job of illustrating how a company that experienced meteoric success was struggling to stay on top of competition and changing consumer trends. The co-founders (Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie) were of the firm opinion that what mattered in smartphones was security, reliability, and multitasking. Consumers cared about style, content, and easy use. While a lot of us believe that Blackberry was fighting external forces with regards to competition, the greatest battle was being fought internally.

The authors have divided the book into two sections. Part 1 describes the golden run of the company: the magical success it had rising from a small office above the Bagel store in Waterloo. You’ll enjoy reading about how Blackberry got its name (other choices included EasyMail, Pocket Link, MegaMail and Blade). The folks at Blackberry loved the cult following and cherished the days when a senior corporate executive would get a Blackberry for a trial run and then wouldn’t let it go. BlackBerry’s first users weren’t typical early adopters; instead, they were senior legal and banking advisers who needed to be first with information.

Part 2 describes the challenges the firm faced and the reluctance of the founders to acknowledge the changing market. Towards the end, the authors sum up the book with a great lesson: If the rise and fall of BlackBerry teaches us anything it is that the race for innovation has no finish line, and that winners and losers can change places in an instant.
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Format: Hardcover
Losing the Signal is a recent history of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie's startup-turned-briefly-tech-giant Research In Motion and its flagship product, the BlackBerry mobile device.

The BlackBerry was an incredibly popular mobile device in the late 1990's and early 2000's for a few major reasons. Working off of its earlier success in the two-way pager market, Research in Motion (RIM) invested quite a bit of effort in designing the BlackBerry to optimize the convenience of emailing from mobile devices. Emails were synced seamlessly between a user's device and desktop computer in near-real-time, something no other company could come close to achieving. On the hardware side, the keyboard was compressed and designed specifically for two thumbs rather than some arbitrary set of fingers, still a novel concept at the time. RIM's advertising teams also marketed the convenience of email directly to CEOs, bypassing IT divisions. Once the CEOs were seen constantly using their BlackBerries, elite-level management became synonymous with instant email access, and BlackBerry quickly spread down the ranks to upper-level management and eventually all employees.

BlackBerry's success would not last, however, and lost almost its entire market share within ten years. The main contributor to the fall of RIM was the rise of all-in-one smartphones. RIM preferred to focus on its core product, the lean business device that was BlackBerry. In these early days of widespread mobile networks (circa 2000), network capacity and battery life were scarce, giving the BlackBerry the edge (the very earliest BlackBerry models, I was surprised to learn, were not even phones, but primarily email devices). The iPhone shook this up, bringing smartphones to the consumer market rather than the business market.
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