RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is sort of like the captain of the Titanic, except the Titanic was popular and people were sad when it sank. But unlike Captain Edward Smith, Heins is either crazy or a fibber. Or both.
This week, while most of America was either preparing for or in the midst of a beer-and-meat-induced catatonic state, RIM's current and final chief executive took a frosty page from the old Iraqi Information Minister, telling the world that the sky was not falling, but if it were, it would be a chocolate sky. Lift up your mouth and let the delicious death spiral sprinkles fall into your mouth! Everything is lovely, nothing harmed, the children of tomorrow smile, palms upward, waiting for a new BB10 device. They tie ribbons in their hair and wait.
He also spit out a salvo of statements diametrically opposed to the fabric of reality. Here's all the proof you need to decide that RIM isn't just fucked, but not even due for an enjoyable fucking. The man in charge is full of shit. To wit, from an op-ed in the Globe and Mail that will make you weep:
1. "Don't count BlackBerry out."
Sorry, everyone has. It's over. And a weak cliche of ra-ra-ism isn't going to change that.
2. "We believe RIM is a company at the beginning of a transition that we expect will once again change the way people communicate."
There is nothing we've seen of BB10 that suggests it would've been anything more than a catchup grab at iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. There is zero about BB10 that's of the future.
3. "As we prepare to launch our new mobile platform, BlackBerry 10, in the first quarter of next year, we expect to empower people as never before. BlackBerry 10 will connect users not just to each other, but to the embedded systems that run constantly in the background of everyday life -- from parking meters and car computers to credit card machines and ticket counters."
This would be a grandiose statement even from Google or Apple.
4. "We are working diligently on BlackBerry 10 in order to provide a compelling experience for our loyal enterprise customers and consumers. While we are in a very competitive and constantly changing market, customers benefit from this competition and continued innovation."
"Customers" do, but not RIM customers. Nobody who wants a BlackBerry will benefit by waiting for an operating system that will almost certainly not see the light of day.
5. "As has been reported, RIM has hired outside advisers to help me and the other members of the executive team think about the business in new ways and to explore a range of alternatives that leverage our core strengths and build on the BlackBerry brand."
Translation: we have brought in consultants to figure out how we can die gracefully. Okay, actually that's the sanest thing he's said in months. Minus the "build on the BlackBerry brand" part.
7. "In response to our tough quarterly results last week, our employees received thousands of e-mails from around the world from retail customers, carrier partners, developers, family, friends and neighbours expressing their support and loyalty to BlackBerry. They are -- like many of us -- BlackBerry people by choice."
How many BlackBerry users have any brand loyalty beyond their job requirements? And how many of those "thousands" of cheery messages, if they are real, were matched by thousands of messages from the thousands of RIM employees you laid off because your company is dying?
But it might be a recent interview that shows just how detached Thorsten Heins is from anything you could call the real world:
8. "There's nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now," Heins said on CBC's Metro Morning radio show.
9. "I'm not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I'm talking about the company (in the) state it's in right now."
But Thorsten, you yourself speak of "tough quarterly results," how yours is a "challenging job," and how the company needs to "start to surface." From one side of your mouth you downplay RIM's necrosis, and from the other side, deny it altogether. At least Nero had the decency to fiddle while Rome burned—Heins just plays the bullshit saxophone. We get that RIM needs to puff itself up if it wants to attract buyers for an inevitable corporate butchering—like a diseased peacock that still needs a mate—but this is just unseemly.
If, for whatever reason, you need more evidence that the man is unfit to see RIM droop and splinter in its last gloomy days, consider the fact that, at one point, Thorsten Heins said—without a shred of irony—"Let's rock and roll this!" That is all.