In service, there’s absolutely nothing so valuable as having the ideal product at the correct time. Just ask Zoom, the hot cloud-based video conferencing platform experiencing explosive growth thanks to its unexpected importance in the age of sheltering in location.
Having operated at BlackBerry in its heyday in the early 2000s, I see a lot of parallels to what Zoom is going through today. As Zooming into a video conference or a classroom is today, so too was pulling out your BlackBerry to fire off an e-mail or examine your stocks circa 2002. Like Zoom, the company then known as Research in Motion had the right item for enterprise users that increasingly wanted to operate on the go.
Naturally, BlackBerry’s story didn’t have a delighted ending.
From 1999 to 2007, BlackBerry seemed totally unstoppable. But then Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, Google introduced Android and all of the chinks in the BlackBerry armor started coming undone, one by one. How can Zoom avoid the exact same fate?
As someone who was at both BlackBerry and Android throughout their heydays, my greatest takeaway is that item experience exceeds everything else. It’s more important than security (a concern Zoom is getting blasted about right now), what CIOs desire, your user install base and the bigger brand identity.
When the iPhone was launched, many people within BlackBerry rightly mentioned that we had a technical upper hand on Apple in many areas essential to service and enterprise users (not to point out the physical keyboard for rapidly cranking out e-mails)… but how much did that benefit matter in the end? If there is severe market pull, the rest ultimately gets found out … a lesson I learned from my time at BlackBerry that I was fortunate enough to be able to immediately use when I signed up with Google to work on Android.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.