One would think that after a long day of work, at the WES after after party (after after after party?), RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie would want to sit back and take a load off. Not so: the Big B is always ready and eager to talk BlackBerry and the mobile space — and is easily one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever talked to about the subject. While I’m not going to delve too much into our conversation (which was basically Balsillie giving me a lesson in BlackBerry Business 101), there are two things that I can’t help but recount.
On making the perfect BlackBerry (Note: this is slightly paraphrased – hey, I was drunk):
“The BlackBerry serves three different masters — the user, the carrier, and the CIO — and each BlackBerry released has to please some combination of each to be successful. For the user, the general experience has to be simple and offer the functionality to get them excited; for the CIO, the device has to be highly secure and readily deployable company-wide; for the carrier, it’s all about offering a functionality incentive to their customers that will bring in data revenue. Most BlackBerry devices have pleased all three.”
While not exactly a revelation, it was really interesting to hear RIM’s main-man break down the BlackBerry so succinctly. What’s most exciting is that with RIM’s new direction of offering more devices per year than the standard “one QWERTY, one SureType” policy of years past, you can expect to see devices catered to and specifically targeting one or two of BlackBerry’s “masters”.
On what we can expect in the future from RIM:
“I think you’re gonna see two or three big suprises from us by the end of the year.”
Woah! Balsille wouldn’t say anything more (and it’s not really saying that much), but considering what we’ve been hearing about Pearl 2.0, it might make sense that we’ll see it launched as early as late fall of this year (right at the one year anniversary of the Pearl and just in time for a ‘back to school’ consumer push, no less).
Of course, this begs the question of what the other two surprises are, but I guess we’ll just have to sit tight and wait. Here are two more photos of me with Balsillie, and some with local Ottawa
celebrity legend, Phil Giroux. Fun times!