Small Business Lessons Learned From Blackberry

September 23, 2013
Mike Dolpies
GSM cellular phone BlackBerry Pearl

GSM cellular phone BlackBerry Pearl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Blackberry Can Teach Small Business Owners

After a few years of misery it really looks like Blackberry is getting close to the end of the line.

Blackberry plans to layoff 4500 people in the near future.

All indications are these are the steps leading up to a possible sale or some sort of break up.

So what can small business owners learn from this once dominant force in the smartphone market?

I remember getting my first Blackberry back in 2004.

It was mainly a phone and a way to easily send text messages and emails.

I liked it.

In early 2007 I bought a Blackberry Pearl. That really small and compact smartphone.

Liked that too!

My wife, Jamie, had a Blackberry for work up until about a year ago. She has been using an Iphone ever since

The corporate customer was Blackberry’s main market.

Let’s just say they had a large niche. Call it “B2B” even though many non-corporate users were still around in force.

Lessons Learned…

Blackberry did not see the huge opportunity in front of them.

They had the chance to make a game-changing land-grab had they seen the potential in also catering to the “consumer.”

You must be aware of opportunities and at least make an attempt to go after them with all you have.

Infotainment & Productivity Rules: What Blackberry didn’t see was the fact – even in a business – setting “infotainment” and productivity rule. Sure, the Blackberry was a great communication tool. But, humans always crave more.

The question Blackberry should have asked… “What more can we give them and sell them?”

I’m sure if Blackberry played their cards right they could have created a huge “App Ecosystem” that would be a force to reckon with today.

Watch Your Competition and Their Customers:

This may or may not be easy. But we’ve all heard it’s a good idea to “keep an eye on the competition” to one extent or another. Of course, you can’t be obsessed with them. But Blackberry could have been a little more concerned about Apple and Google.

Blackberry could have also kept an eye on Apple’s and Google’s customers.

“How are customers liking (or not liking) what the competition is offering?”

Blackberry could have gotten several good ideas by watching. (I bet they did too)


The did not act on any of the ideas AND Blackberry seemed a tad arrogant for a few years while they were being buried alive.

OK – there you have it – those are my take-aways from watching this un-fold over the past three years.

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About the author

Mike Dolpies Mike Dolpies (aka Mike D.) owns “Ocean View Publishing, LLC” - a diverse media/Internet Marketing and Consulting Company. He started his first business when he was just 18 years old. By the time he was 23 that business had generated well over a Million Dollars in sales and was consistently in the top 20% of its industry. He's the Author of 6 different books. His first book, “Motion Before Motivation, The Success Secret That Never Fails,” became a bestseller on He's been a guest on the Fox Morning News several times and has been written about in many newspapers. His work has also appeared on and Fox

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