Check out the above video, embedded at the exact time where Levie talks BlackBerry.
Box is an interesting partner for BlackBerry as the company addresses 2 key areas of the platform: cloud storage and enterprise. As Box moves increasingly into the cloud storage for enterprise space, it becomes a more critical partner of BlackBerry’s and at launch, Box seemed to be totally on board. According to the CEO, this isn’t going to be the case going forward and they aren’t going to be investing more in the platform.
Levie, who was on Jason Calcanis’ This Week in Startups, specifically called out BlackBerry, of the 8 or so platforms they support, saying “clearly, that is not going to be one of our big investment areas going forward. But we still have to support it and all of our current customers using it.”
The scary thing about this statement, is that it went completely unquestioned. Saying you aren’t supporting BlackBerry, as an enterprise focused company, is a huge deal and this statement went unchallenged, sort of like it was an assumption as obvious as “the sun is hot”. Something is really wrong when it comes to BlackBerry’s ability to market itself to enterprise-focused companies and getting the message out that it’s a platform worth investing in for enterprise apps.
BlackBerry recently put out a letter saying “you can continue to count on BlackBerry”, but that’s clearly not what these companies are looking for.
Here is what companies like Box are probably asking, and BlackBerry should respond:
Is BlackBerry still dominating the enterprise? To what extent?
Is enterprise upgrading its current BlackBerrys to BB10, and at what rate?
What’s the adoption rate of BES 10 looking like in North America?
If I build an enterprise app for BlackBerry 10, what size of market am I addressing?
Blackberry's fall is a story of executing a strategy based on entrenchment vs. market realities. All incumbents should take note.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) September 28, 2013