GROUP 1 – Read the Case: The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry Teaching Note and Answer the Questions BelowCase Synopsis: The launch of BlackBerry by Research in Motion (RIM) in 1999 laid the foundation for the development of smartphones. The next decade was a period of spectacular growth for RIM, making its two co-CEOs billionaires. At the end of 2007 the company had a market capitalization of more than $60 billion. Sales peaked at almost $20 billion in 2011. In 2016, sales were $2.2 billion and the company had lost money for four straight years. With the market capitalization having fallen to $4 billion by August 2016, the survival of BlackBerry (the company changed its name from RIM to BlackBerry) was uncertain.Learning Objectives:
- Understand the process of innovation and the linkages between strategy, competitive advantage, and innovation.
- Understand the challenges of being a pioneer versus a follower.
- Understand leadership and building a culture of adaptability and change, especially in a successful organization.
- Understand some of the fundamental leadership differences between Lazaradis/Balsillie and Steve Jobs, especially as it relates to vision, customer focus and simplicity of message.
Case Study Questions:
- Describe the industry that the original BlackBerry competed in.
- Why was the original BlackBerry product so successful? What was the basis for BlackBerry’s competitive advantage?
- When competitors introduced new products, how did BlackBerry react? Why did BlackBerry react this way?
- Why was BlackBerry unable to sustain its industry position?