Over the last couple of months, following the tirals and tribulations that have beset RIM has been like watching a train smash happening in slow motion: it's gruesome, and you know it won't end well, but you just can't help yourself.
The latest chapter in this sorry saga is a 1,700-word 'open letter' to RIM bosses Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis from a RIM executive, in which the company's troubles are laid bare for all to see.
Most of the time, the dreaded 'open letter' is little more than a calculated publicity stunt that invariably says more about the author of said letter than whoever it's addressed to.
But that's clearly not the case with the letter from an unnamed RIM executive to his bosses that's been all the talk of the interweb this morning.
Surfaced in full by BGR, the missive begins with the ominously simple sentence “I have lost confidence”, then goes on to break down RIM's current plight in detail.
Here are a few highlights:
Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time.
We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work.
When was the last time we pushed out a significant new experience or feature that wasn’t already on other platforms?
Just look at who our major competitors are: Apple, Google & Microsoft. These are three of the biggest and most talented software companies on the planet.
We simply must stop shipping incomplete products that aren’t ready for the end user. It is hurting our brand tremendously.
There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.
An important note regarding our marketing: a product’s technical superiority does not equal desire, and therefore sales… How many Linux laptops are getting sold? How did Betamax go?
The public’s questions about dual-CEOs are warranted. The partnership is not broken, but on the ground level, it is not efficient.
There's plenty more, and the whole letter is well worth reading. And it certainly seemed to hit a nerve, as less than 24 hours later, RIM issued an official response. You can check out the full text for yourself, but to sum up, it's sadly predictable: first the company questions why the employee couldn't raise their reservations openly, then throws out some numbers in an attempt to show that things are actually going well, and closes by claiming it is “more committed than ever to serving its loyal customers and partners around the world”.
The words “head” and “sand” come to mind...