Wow. Last night’s RIM earnings call was a unique experience. We’re all so used to the Jim show, or the Jim & Mike show as it was over the last couple of quarters. Now they’re gone and Thorsten takes the microphone.
He’s refreshing. He’s brutally honest. The news is grim. More grim than it’s been in a long time. But at least he can man up to it. He doesn’t sugar coat. In fact he’s conducting a “Town Hall” with RIM staff this morning and I’m hearing that even the staff appreciate his straight-up style.
I wrote a fairly lengthy piece with my take on RIM’s Q4 F2012 results at CrackBerry. Have a read and let me know what you think.
But I also wanted to touch briefly on the concept of marketing. I think RIM needs to realize that EVERYTHING is marketing. This is a concept that was beautifully explained in the book Rework, written by the founders of 37 Signals. If you are a user of Basecamp, the online project management software, you know who I mean.
BTW, READ that book. It’s so simple / fast to read (great for slow readers like me). Powerful.
Anyway, back to RIM. Thorsten Heins’ prepared remarks could have been written more clearly. I’m specifically talking about his commentary around the consumer market and refocusing on the enterprise. His first exact quote could easily have been misinterpreted. This leads jump-the-gun style journalists to write stupid reports about how RIM is “ceding most consumer markets”.
The truth is that anyone who listened to the rest of the call would CLEARLY understand that RIM is not backing away from the consumer market. They’re just saying that they intend to partner with others to bring more consumer services, such as media (music, video, etc).
Kind of a huge difference between reality and dumb headlines, eh?
Anyway, whoever writes RIM’s prepared remarks should have known better. They should be aware that the media will race to get headlines out, and that the quote Thorsten first delivered was open to severe misinterpretation.
Everything is marketing. Everything.