How BlackBerry Took Over the World and Then Lost It


Episode Transcription

Hey, welcome to things. Earlier last night the comedy podcast show where We're learning useless information and so uh we this week talked about BlackBerry, the you know, the phones you might not know. You might be young, but if you're if you're old like us, do you remember the wonderful times of the two thousands when technology was just slowly crawling its way forward, and then after two thousand and seven it just so fast, so fast, fast, numbingly fast, and now we're back to just slow increments of anyway, BlackBerry was really a part of that. And then how the rise and fall of BlackBerry and maybe what they could have done different to avoid this, but how they they just stared their destinies straight on exactly where we're a decade so we go there. Yeah. We also talked about the coolest phone ever, the Motorol Eraser. Yeah, the coolest thing. Shout out to our sponsor whatever. Man, let's get into the episode. Hey manmen, don't I hate it when you do this. Don't do this to me? Amen? Have you watched the extended versions of the Office on yahock? How far into it are you? I don't know, like not far. I just kind of like the threat level midnight one gosh, but than me then it's it's interesting to me. I will get into the topic. I don't care, but it's interesting to me. How much more Jim and Pam flirt in the extended cuts really, because like obviously when you watch the series, they're flirting, right, but it's it's like over the top, like they're really flirting. It's in the deleted scenes. Interesting, Like half of the deleted scenes are basically them dating, like in their relationship. Interesting. Interesting, it's interesting. I will say I watched I've been watching Back to Star Wars and so I'm on episode two right now, and I will say, Anakin, the way he talks to Padme in this one is like borderline not okay, Like I'm saying, like, there's things where you just kind of go, you know, because when you watch the series of the Office on TV, yeah, you go, Jim, you're flirting with a girl who's engaged to somebody else. Yes, But when you watch the extended cut, she's doing the most flirting. Interesting, and it's like, hey, you're leading on a guy and you know you're flirting. Yeah, yeah, yeah, because they keep doing looks at the camera, you know, yeah, it's weird, weird, weirder in the extended cut. Yikes. Interesting, I need to keep watching. Yeah, very far. Well, anyways, have you ever heard of BlackBerry? BlackBerry? Yeah, like like the phone. Yeah yeah, yeah, like the phone, not the fruit episode of BlackBerry. Well, for a second, I couldn't remember if that's what the phone was called. BlackBerry. Yeah, yeah, oh, we're talking about BlackBerry. We're talking about BlackBerry with the phone, yes, yes, yeah, probably in an episode of the Office or two. We talked about BlackBerry in a different episode, didn't we. I mean, we want to mention them how they wouldn't give up the buttons. Yeah, they didn't want to give up the buttons. Yeah, they love their buttons, that's what I'm saying. I mean, I can't Yeah, that's yeah. That's the best part of the BlackBerry was those buttons. All right. I feel we should get the intro out of the way because that was really weird. You did that. I really pushed my buttons. Hit the drop, hit the drop. No no no, no, no, no, no no no. That's good. You gotta get over to listen to our podcast. Can we get on Open's Favorite things list? Can we make a clip of Oprah's Favorite Things Special and over our podcast like my favorite podcast this year. It's after all you get get till things I learned last night. So Blberry here's the thing. Barberry was started by guy but the name of Mike Lizard or sorry Lazar is Lazaridis, Lazarus Lazarius. At the time, the company was called Research in Motion. This is in the early nineties. Him was the limited They just don't have a lot of product yet. Okay, no, it's short for LLC, I know. And then his friend Doug Freagin. This is Doug all right, I have I'm going to keep my mouth shut. How old is Doug in this picture? That's what I want to know, because here's the thing about older people. That guy's twenty six. Yeah you know what I'm saying. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and we look like this yeah yeah, yeah, that's fair. But also to be fair, yeah I see now. Yeah. So Doug and Mike Ware sorry dougant Mike. Where your neighborhood nerds? Yeah, they lived in Waterloo, Canada, quiet little Waterloo, Canada. So the this company and the idea for the company was, hey, we are going to make technology stuff. Sure, but we don't know what the technology stuff is. We just know we like technology stuff, and so they just start making stuff. They make some motems for a little bit, they sell some of those goes, all right, they early nineties, and so they're like decent. They're they're a business, but they're not like a business, you know. You know what I'm saying anyway, guys, Yeah, well no, probably more of a business than us. Honestly, they're going to like they're doing stuff like this, like trade shows. Here's where the rest of that picture. This is showcasing some of their stuff at an event. What what are you pointing at? You don't see Alex in this picture? Yeah? I can see that. I can see that Alex, our local nerd. Yeah, that's true, is there? Yeah? I didn't notice before that there's a parrot in this, which is interesting. But what I like the most I think so far is that this is a trade show. I think they're actually at a mall. I think this is a mall. Kiosk oh okay, well then this works? Then this is this is their advertisement, right, yeah, but there's also like a phone number to call on here. This says advertise on me. Do you see it? Yeah? So it's like it's like if you had a billboard and you're like, I'm on a billboard, but also it had giant letters said advertise on me. So it's a billboard for the billboard that you're also discount for that you think, yeah, probably if you. So they built calculators. That's that's what they look like. They're not calculators though, called the budget system or the I think it does say the Oh no, it's bud Budge, Budgie the budget. What is the budget? So the budget system was like one of their early ideas. And this was a kind of like an early pager, a communication tool. Okay, it didn't really take off, hold on, put it back up. It's called okay. So it is called the Budgy system, not the Buddy system. Right now it's Budgie, but the Budgy system. I thought it was Buddy for a second. You just went with it for Budgie. No, it's Budgie, it's Budgie. I wasn't wrong, typically I am, but I wasn't wrong. They actually left college to pursue this because they thought it was a good enough idea, sure, and they started building these little devices. They were kind of like early pagers called the Budget and they did okay. They worked with Mobotex, which was like an early wireless provider, made some modems and things like that for them, and then started working on on these pager devices and eventually they kind of perfected it and created what they called the Bullfrog, which was a pager okay, and they started selling over. The pager did decent, and then they met a guy that honestly, if this guy didn't step into the relationship, I don't know where they would have gone. Because because Doug and Mike knew how how to make stuff, yeah, they don't know how to market. You also know what they were making, yeah, they also yeah, they were just kind of dabbling in a bunch of different things, right, and they also they also they weren't great businessmen. We do know that at this time they made a lot of bad financial decisions and they were working kind of out of the hole, just kind of like us. Yeah, you know, but they met a guy here. I want to see, can you pronounce this guy's name? Jim? Yeah, good start, good start nailed the first name. This is besides no, not even close. Uh, Ball silly, His name is Ball Silly. James Ball, Jim Ball silly. And here's the thing. He is the you put it up here, it's it's spelled Ball silly. It's exactly what you think it is. And you prompted me with you for now. As if I hate that, I fell for that too. So annoying. And this is the sharkiest business guy yea ever Look at him? Look at him, this is his profile. Yeah, Jim Ball silly probably hates it when you call him Ball silly. Yeah, he comes in to be the business man. Sure, And they actually became him and Mike became co CEOs. Was the deal that they struck. They met because Jim was working for a construction company and he was like a VP at this construction company and he was on his way out of that construction company and he was like, I want to go buy a company his plan, and so he approached Research in Motion to purchase Research in Motion and they were going through that deal and he started, I think he started to learn that Mike was the point, Like Mike was the guy who was yea, Mike was the product. Yes, And so he's like he's like, I need this guy to still be in here. So they he put together this deal where he and Mike would be co CEOs. So he invested in it, became a member of the company that became co CEOs, and Mike was like, hey, I got this idea for a mobile email device, which was a unheard of technology like pagers existed, right and cell phones were a new technology, bag phones and all that stuff. Yeah. Well, no, they had no kias at this time, like the bricks like we're around, but it wasn't. I mean you really just called people on it. Text messaging I think existed, but it was clunky and like expensive, yeah, because you paid per text. I remember the ateen T guy telling my mom that free texting would never be a thing. Yeah, yeah, because if they just made too much money on they'll never do free texting. Yeah. And it was also like the there was a lot of people in the industry wanted to make this possible and more like researching ways to make this possible, but there was a technological limitation with data. They anticipate that the number at this time was They're like, we don't think we could have any more than five hundred thousand devices in circulation before it would like destroy the network because it would just be too much data moving. Sure. What they did, what they discovered this research in motion was instead of typically the way it works is your device is what's called the client, and then you have a server, and what happens is the client pings the server and s is, hey, give me the data, and then the server delivers in a series of packets the files. And that's how that works. What they said is they said, instead of they reversed the process. And so instead of the client constantly pinging the server and being like, hey, send me stuff, the server, which has more power than the client would and is operating separately, would then ping the client and say, hey, we got some data for you, and then send the data. And so by reversing that process, it cut back on how much data was used, because otherwise the client's just constantly being like, you got anything for me, you got anything from me, you got anything for me. And so by reversing that, they were able to drastically increase the amount of devices that they could have in that network. And this blew everyone's mind, everyone, like in the tech world. Obviously the consumer didn't know about this, but the tech world was like, oh my gosh, like this is an actual possibility now, like we can actually do something like this. So they sell to bell South. You might remember from our AT and T company they got broken up in all these companies before they became AT and T. Again, A was like we're monopoly still. But bell South at the time, I was like, this is neat And so they bought a bunch of these and at the time the company was calling them pocket links in my opinion, kind of cool. But they uh called like an advertising agency to say, hey, what's a better name for this? And they came up they were like BlackBerry, and everyone was like weird, Okay, no, they said, they said, hey, you know what these keys look like. They look like the little bumps lit a BlackBerry. It's like, exactly what happened? These looked like a little bumps on a BlackBerry. Should name it BlackBerry for real? Yeah? Yeah, okay, They're like it kind of feels like the bumps on a BlackBerry. It kind of looks like the bumps on a BlackBerry. And it's supposedly like really easy to say BlackBerry. It just kind of flows and it's like quick sure like the devices, it's quick access to your email, it's fast BlackBerry and it's like elegant. I don't know, I don't know. Marketers are weird man, dude, and that guy I guarantee the guy who came up with that so much money for that. I got to figure out I had a really good idea for Marriott, and I need to like the hotel chain and I need to get in touch with them because I really want to make money off of that idea. Yeah, well, I got to share it. What if I share it? No, don't, I don't. The hotel chain is sitting there like whatever, they got any good ideas for us? Okay, fine, well so they so they take this thing to market and it like has like kind of a quiet start. But then it was Thanksgiving two thousand. I don't know if you remember the early two thousands, super well, I do. Do you remember Thanksgiving Day and the early two thousand super well? Well, there's multiple things. The days you just referenced. What year are we talking about, Well, I mean Anything's Giving Day in the early two thousands. There was something very significant that happened. Everything's Giving Day in the early two thousands. That was like a taste maker's moment for early two thousands culture. Yeah, that was the People's Choice Awards Kids Choice Awards. No, nope, that was the Taste Makers. Well, but not the Mazy Day Parade that will That did happen, But that's not what I'm referencing here. Wait, I got it. Okay, Oprah's giveaway episode. Yeah, actually you're yes, it wasn't her giveaway. Well she did do for Christmas. Yeah, she did do giveaways. It was Oprah's favorite things. Yeah, she gave them all away. She did give them away. I can't believe jar she just pulled that out of his two thousand and two brain. Look at that. I'm honestly so impressed. You remember that, because I would not have. No, she gave away the car, the Ford Focus she did. That was like the biggest still is the biggest giveaway. Yeah, yeah, it is, right you hear mister Beasts is about to pass that. Sure, yeah, he's he just got to deal with Amazon Prime. I think he's doing a game show to give to give all of his contestants an Amazon Prime membership. Crazy. No, it's an Amazon Prime game show that he's doing, and it's supposed to be the largest like prize game show prize of all time. Was supposed to be I straight up don't care about an Amazon after they lied to us and do all that stuff. Okay, I have this theory. I love Google more, I love Google we are I do love to love you know, I actually think Amazon's gonna die. I hope I heard it was started by a cult. Anyway, No, So on Opah's Favorite Things list, if you don't know, if you don't if you weren't alive, or you don't remember, Oprah just got to make a list of all of her favorite stuff. You would go to the taping of an Oprah Winfrey episode. Yeah, and it would be a secret you didn't know that this is the giveaway episode and uh or we don't give away episode the Christmas episode. Yeah, And then she would open the show. She come out and say, hey, welcome whatever, and then like an ornament would fall from the ceiling and it'd be like, oh weird, and it's like it's out right, And then all the stuff would come out, and so she would make a list of you know, make a list. It was all the stuff that people paid for to get on there. And and she was like, I love this blender, and then everyone of the audience would get a blender. They check under the seat and there'd be a blender there. Yeah, somehow they check out the seat. Oh my gosh, you ford focus. Yeah. It really was like that, and so everything they showed on the show, the whole audience got. But it was a really big it's where that meme you get a car, you get a car, you get a car. That's that episode. It was a giant infomercial. Yeah, they figured out how to get people to like look forward to every year. I mean it was it was pretty fun because everybody in the crowds losing their mind. Yes, and like and you're also finding out because what it was was it was like whatever it is on the the Oprah's Favorite Things episode was the like number one gift that year. It was like, you need to get that gift. That's what everyone wants. That was like how you that was like when you see a TikTok viral video. That's just like, you know, oh my gosh, my Stanley cup is creaty and then all of a sudden, every every person's got a Stanley cup. Yeah, because you're supposed to have it or whatever. It was the equivalent she said those blues like we earned ours and uh I was gonna say. I was like, she set her set on fire and the Stanley cup was still standing my favorite Things. Everybody's like, you didn't have to part the set down. Twelve people perished and she's like, you guys can drink some water, like dramatic music. On Thanksgiving Day two thousand and two, twelve people perished and a taping of Oprah's Favorite Things, but everybody else got free Stanley cups. No, so I don't know if honestly are they paid on this list? Then that's what I always assumed, Like I think that's where my brain goes. But there's the storyline is that maybe maybe you had to apply, maybe you had to apply to be on it or something so she could test it out. I don't know. I don't know how it worked, but I do know that on Thanksgiving Day, the entire BlackBerry staff was watching her special because they were hoping they would be on it this year. It was the first year of the BlackBerry. They were like or something like, let's see if Yeah. I don't know, okay, but they I guessand mom watched Oprah religiously. Most moms did. Yeah. That was like, yeah, so they were watching they were all huddled around the TV watching the TV to be like, is she gonna put the BlackBerry on her favorite things list? Sure? And no one, And behold she does pull the BlackBerry from her hocket and this is the early BlackBerry. It wasn't even a phone yet, it was just an email device. And so she's like, she's like, I take this with me everywhere. This is not just my favorite It's not just an item on my favorite things list. This is my favorite thing, is what she says. Oh, and they're they skyrocketed. They went from having twenty five thousand users to well over a million pretty much overnight. It's the power of the oh, I hate the Tube, just the pre and Oprah to the Oh, the big O, the big Oh. And so they became like just a household name, huge right beyond measure. We got to get Oprah to listen to our podcast? Can we get on Oprah's Favorite Things list? Can we make a clip of Oprah's Favorite Things Special and over Tough our podcast? Like and my favorite podcast? This year's close you get until it you get me. I find a voice actor who could do an Oprah, Probably do like an ai Oprah. Oh Yeah, that was something. That's how I went to let's hire an artist, and you went to, let's just have a the computer can do it. Why would we pay someone when we can let the robots do it. That's true. I mean the hosts of this show gave up talking two years ago. They've been AI in this thing. Literally just sit here in our shoots. It's the awkwardest thing in the world. We see here for an hour and a half and we just occasionally turned our heads to the cameras, turn our heads back. We don't make a sound, but the AI moves our mouths for us and says all we looked like one of those jib jab videos two thousand and two. Man, I forgot about that too. I know you did. You are okay, Hey, thanks for being part of this episode. If you want to help us do more of this, you want to help us grow our show, one of the easiest and best ways to do that is to join our Patreon. It's a way for your financial to support this show, and you get a lot in return. You get access to our Discord channel, you a bonus content that comes out, you get exclusive merchandise, and like live Zoom hangouts where we're both just hanging out, eating pizza, just getting to know each other. The biggest thing is is we want to know you more as an individual and as a friend. So thanks for supporting our show. If you don't support us financially, we're not pressed about it. We're not like mad. But I'll find you. So text till into six six eight sixty six to keep yourself from being found, all right, because if you don't, I will want you down. So this Oprah puts them in the spotlight, and a certain company by the name of MTP, that's their name. TP finds out out about them, and MTP is an interesting company. I don't know if you've heard of companies like this. I think there's a word for it. But essentially all they do is they squire businesses. Well, no, they sit around and they wait for people to file patents and they say that's an interesting patent, and they say, we'll give you fifty thousand for it, and oh, they just sit on it until somebody else does something with it and then they sue them. That's the business. That's the whole model. They suck. Yeah, so there's actually a there's actually a content version of this. Did you know that there's So let's say you have a viral video. Yeah. Uh. And I get these messages all the time because I have a lot of viral videos, even like the cat one for example. You'll have a person reach out through d MS and they'll say, hey, we really love your video. We want to license it. We wanna we wanna help you get it on Ridiculousness and MTV and on the late night shows. We want to we want to help you get this video out. Right, it's already out, it's already right, but they they're like, we want, we want to, you know, so they can use on TV and you can get paid. Yeah. Right, So then you fill out the form and you know, I've I've entertained it just to read the reform, and they give you and they own the rights to the video. Yeah, and so then they go license it. They pay you a percentage, sure, but they're getting obviously the bigger percentage. But they in if you use it in YouTube or anything else, or you reposted anything you now they'll take the earnings that you make from Facebook. Yeah. Yeah, and because they're the owners that they're the copp editors of that video now. Yeah, and yeah, sketchy man, it's brutal. Same concept. They just go around buying patents and fake That's kind of what the guy did to Taylor Swift the record label that owned all of our stuff is why she re recorded her songs. And so they say, they say, Okay, we're banking on that fact that someone else is going to have this idea and we're just gonna assume once they do it. I can't take you seriously when you look at me in the eyes after you do that, like you just stare me. Okay. So this company calls them and it's like, hey, you're infringing on our patent, and they were like, what, how do you excuse me? And so they go into this litigation, they go to court and research in motion the owner owners of BlackBerry in their case or trying to say, okay, no, we've had we had this concept. First. What NTP has a patent for is just a mobile email device, and it's very broad broad yeah yeah, but it's it's broad enough that it's like they kind of got it. And so they go through this long litigation process and at the point when the lawsuit first comes through, the company has like a million users and so it's like a it's a it's a big company. Yeah, but I don't know if I would say it's like a massive company. Yet they the suit comes through. By the time that it closes a year later, they have two and a half million users for the phone, and so they lose the case, and the company Research and Motion is like, this is ridiculous. We're gonna be especially now because since this closed, they're going to take a percentage of our profits. Their profits are way higher now, right, And so they go for the appeal. They go through the appeal process and it takes two years. By the the end of that they now have eight million users, and so the company is like blowing up. They're going through the appeal process and it becomes pretty evident that they're going to lose this this appeal again, and so they settle outside of court with this NTP company who didn't do any sucks like just bought the patent or someone they selled for six hundred and twelve million dollars for infridging on that patent. Should we suck? Should we just be bad people? It's insane to me that these people did nothing. They did nothing. Should we because insane and all they did was just like, well, it's the same thing like when these meme pages are like they'll share my content without even asking. Oh yeah all the time. But and that's why anytime I see a Barstool video or the f Jerry or whatever, block those accounts scroll past them because they are what they're doing is they're reaching out and they're like, we want to put this in front of our our eighteen million followers. They get paid for all those videos. They make money off of your video, off your content. Don't let them do that. Yeah, it's not worth the exposure. Yeah, because at the end of the day one no one follows through. Yeah, no one looks at a barstool video and says I'm gonna go follow the account yep that did this. They're just like, that's funny. There's only certain pieces of my content that I would allow that at this point. I would let the Chick fil A video do it, and I would let the Alexa sketch go because those are very prominently in my face or things that I could pieces of like the cat video I would not do because I'm not in it. But if it's like if I'm talking to the camera and I can get more views on this. There is a level of I'm trying to sell tickets and my face is important, and ultimately on those videos, especially like IF concert, probably the life cycle that is going to go through, right, And so it's like if if they want to take it at this point, I don't know. Every time I repost it, it goes viral again. So I'll take it. Yeah, that's true. If you do that though for like a barsel, that's you can still repost it. Now. I'm gonna reach out of the half post this video seven years ago. You guys want it, that's fair, that's fair. Anyway, we're talking about BlackBerry, remember that's right. We just took a break. We took we took a little recess, a little short recess. My jacket back on, Yeah, I took that off. No, we took a little recess to go look at the eclipse. We saw it well, which hey you saw it. I saw a flash of it sees nothing now because I'll tell you what. The government is not going to tell me what I can and cannot look at. Yeah, they were don't look look at this, and I was like, you're gonna stop me, And it turns out they weren't going to stop me, but the sun sure did. Have you heard of that concord thing, the grape jelly close? No, It was like the seventies or eighties or something. There was a group of scientists that were like, hey, how cool would it be if we saw this eclipse for like longer than everybody else does. And so what they did is they took one of those concord jets. And I was just thinking yesterday what the eclipse would look like from a plane. From a plane, Yeah, probably nutsyeah. And so were they. And so what they did is they put windows on the ceiling and they put a bunch of scientific devices in to like measure stuff from the ceiling. Yeah, And they took a concord jet and it was over Africa, and they flew and they hit one point of it, and then they cruised with it like for I think it was eighty one minutes. They cruised with the path of the eclipse. And because the concord is so stink and fast, I was able to keep up with it, okay, And so it was the longest experienced eclipse by anyone. Was this travel or this fight. It was a wow, But it was insane because so the shadow is moving faster than a plane. Yeah, because it's I mean, I think it's I don't know what it is, but I know the concord moves over this speed of sound, and so they needed the concord time. I know, we stay out there for a minute, that things like crawling. Yeah, but I mean that's a big shadow, you know. Yeah, I mean, I'm sure if you could get in with a normal plane, you could stay in it for like ten minutes. Probably a bet. I don't know. It's a big shadow. It's interesting. But what I do. I saw a thing. It said that they calculated it, and they said that if they were just a second off, it would trim twelve minutes off of the amount of time that they were able to stay within it. So they had to calculate the trip, and the pilot of this concord, he gave himself twenty seconds of leeway is so that way there would be room for error, And so he took off, got to the air and then while they were airborne, he redid his calculations. He's like, okay, we've got eight seconds. He's like, I need to trim eight seconds off these twenty seconds to trim eight seconds. They had some turbulence slowed them down and so then he like full thrust at it ended up hitting negative one seconds off. So like they did lose like twelve minutes in the totality, but within a second from the second they had to hit it, they hit it, and they hit it perfect at the spot where like they didn't even have to tilt or turn at all, like they just okay for eighty one minutes. I think it was wow experience. Its crazy, and we know a lot about eclipses now because of that, they were able to gather a ton of data. Wow, I know a lot about eclipse and new moon and but anyway, yeah, can you name another one? Name another one, Name another one? Just name a single other one. Twilight, Yeah name well, okay, that doesn't go Oh, that doesn't count that because that's the name. Uh huh. You gotta name one of the other ones. It goes Twilight, new Moon, eclipse, rise and fall of Mars Hill, a cord of thorn and roses. Okay, whatever, They're all the same thing to me. Okay, So in DP gets the settlement, which is crazy. Yeah, it's so frustrating and so many levels but BlackBerry was at a level where like it almost I shouldn't. I don't want to say it didn't matter. It mattered, but it didn't matter, if that makes sense, you know. So should they have just settled with the two million describers before? Yeah, they probably would have had a lower settlement if they would have took it with the appeal, But there's no way to know how big they were going to become. And it's it's interesting the BlackBerry, they called it the Crackberry. Remember that. Do you remember the Crackberry? Yeah, that was like a common thing. I mean it was the first smartphone because over time they added in all the features you would have with phone and had an email, had a web browser, and uh it was it was the first smartphone. The early web browser websites were crazy to look at. Yeah it looks bad. Well yeah they were just text based. Yeah yeah, crazy crazy that we had full different versions of website. Yeah you had the m dot or slash mobile. That's what you have to do. Yeah, yeah, that was absurd, crazy, so much extra work. Yeah, the coach just didn't exist to make it respond anyways, there was nothing to respond to the screen, wasn't there yet? Yeah, yeah, but they so this became a huge movement. They kind of created the smartphone sector. A bunch of other companies started trying to get to a similar device to what they had, but no one was even close. And so they got to eight million worldwide users in what year two thousand and seven? March two thousand and seven is when they're at eight million. Yeah, something we all know. Yeah, there was a an important moment in two thousand and seven when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Yes, and he did that. We talked about it a lot. Yeah, yeah, the phone, wallet, keys, all the things you forget. What was it? A phone, an iPhone, a web browser, yeah, phone, a music player, a web browser, phone, a music player? Oh web browser? Are you getting it? All? One device? And ovation people sacrificing goats across the conference room. Crazy dude, I got this go from best Friends. I got this go from best Buy? Why do you think they bought ba is By? That's a vegan sacrifice right there? What they don't call killing animal? You gotta kill a robot animal? Oh oh yeah, right, so the spirits can't know robot you go you you tour in the city. It's got a little icon on the ground. You go in. Yeah, you go down the stairs, well, you ride the slide, the slide down. You get in there and there's like a stained glass window on the door, so you can kind of peer through the white seeing it. Yeah, there's all these people in these robes and they're there humming, and in the middle there's this big pedestal and you see that there's a pedestal and there's a guy marching towards it with a torch and on the pedestal you look closely and you're you're like, could that is that? And then it's one of those little from two thousand and four dogs. That's a different direction that I was going. It's one of those little those weird looking herbies. Yeah, Ferbi, Yeah, it's a smash it and the spirits are like, this appeases us, We're so happy. We love animals. Thinks I was gonna say a room, but just a room bumping up against the edge of the thing. They burn it. Itch butch but stupid. So the iPhone comes out, and the big thing about the iPhone and what Steve jobs his his like main motivation for it, and he even talked about in that press conference. The part of the press conference that was less no buttons. Yeah, as he said, you look at the BlackBerry, half of this device is taken up taking up my buttons. And when you're not using the buttons, they're still there. They're still taking up half the device. And so the whole thing too is if you put in your pocket, you're clicking but yeah, you're clicking buttons and all that thing. And so he wanted to find a way where you could get rid of the buttons, have more screen real estate, which means you could have more or device to enjoy what you're actually trying to look at. People forget how often pocket dialing was happening. Yeah, it was a very common thing. Yeah, yeah, and it was very Yeah, so this was like people blocking out. I mean like people's lives were getting up ended by pocket dials. Man. You would you would to pocket dial someone and then you'd be talking bad about that person and they would, you know, they'd get a voicemail. Yeah, of you being like can you believe because it was always the same person, always the same person that you were talking about, because you only had a couple of people in your contact list. Yeah, so you only talked about a couple of people buying their back Anyways, Yeah, what a lot of people thought is that this was I mean, I guess in retrospect, a lot of people think that this was the moment that BlackBerry just ended, like this killed them. Yeah, and I found necessarily true. Yeah, iPhone did kind of sign their death warrant. But it took some time. Yeah, because over the next couple of years, BlackBerry continued to grow until twenty twelve. BlackBerry in twenty twelve was up to eighty million worldwide users. Okay, and so that I mean they were eight million in two thousand and seven, So they still like rapidly were expanding. The thing is, the majority of that growth was outside the US, right, and so there was the BlackBerry outpaced the iPhone in a lot of other countries because the iPhone was significantly more expensive and so it was a similar experience. But as soon as this becomes an affordable product, yeah, then it starts. Then they started to decline. The BlackBerry also research in motion. By this time they had rebranded to just BlackBerry was the name of the company. By this point, they they started trying to create a device that was the full touchscreen phone. But one thing that they thought was like the main selling point of their phone was the feedback you get from the buttons of the feeling, And so they tried to create a phone where where it had actual physical buttons under the screen that when you weren't using it, it looked it would just display the screen, but when you were using it would display the buttons and you could actually get that button feedback. And it did not work well. It worked really poorly. And so which phone did you have? What do you mean when you were, like in freshman year of high school? What phone did you have? I had an A in high school. What did you what was your first one? Your first phone? Oh, I couldn't. I don't even think they had a name. Like it was just an organic flip phone. I don't even think it had a name. It was like an off brand flip phone. Oh for real? Yeah, what did you have? I had a Samsung slider phone. Yeah, I had. I had a sidekick. It was just a T mobile sidekick. I don't know. You could type sideways. No, you like you hit it and it spun around. Oh. I had slid up and I had buttons and it could slide down. Yeah, and then I upgraded to a Palm. I had a Palm. I don't when I was a it was basically a BlackBerry. Interesting, Yeah, I had. I had a few, like off brand flip phones, had a few off brand slider phones. Yeah, the T Mobile what did I just call it? I forgot the name Sidekick. Sidekick was the only one that was like a big name brand one. I had a Razor knockoff. Yeah, I had a Razor uh back half of high school. Yeah, I didn't get I didn't get an iPhone until my junior year. Yeah. I didn't get an iPhone until college. I got an ABU senior year. I got a senior year on an iPhone. I think, really I got an HTC. I think in senior year of high school, like an HDC Windows phone slider phone two thousand and then in college I think sophomore year of college I got my first iPhone. Here we go. I was kind of late to the iPhone game. I think iPhone five was my first iPhone. I don't like that it says vintage slider cell phone. That's what I had. It was white though, honestly those were fun like those like the sliding effect and the flip effect. Yeah. I used to love to just flip my flip phone and let it open up in the air and then catch it and that's how you answer. There it is. I had this with the orange highlights on it and everything that was white. I do remember that one. Yep, I remember that one. Yeah, yours, yours. I was thinking you were saying this like the sideways keyboard. Oh, the Envy, Yeah, yeah, I had one similar to that, but it wasn't the Envy. Oh man. My parents refused to buy name brand stuff. It was kind of crazy that I got a psych This is just taking me back. Do you remember the Let's see Mobile? Because the only way my dad bought a phone was if literally, I'm not even kidding, the only way my dad got a new phone is he would call T Mobile and he would say I'm canceling my service and then they would send free phones for everyone. That was the only way we got phon. So we only got off brand stuff from that because it was the Mobay chocolate. The chocolate I was a huge deal because it had it had a music player. Music. Yeah, that one is sick. That was the That was like two thousand in six and seven. Yeah, where you could have because I had an iPod nano. Yeah, yep, yep. Geez man, this is interesting. iPod didn't have a screen. You had this shuffle. Yeah, yeah, the shuffle was weird man. The ironically, so, when Apple was developing the iPhone, originally one of the prototypes that they got because they were having a hard time getting the touch screen thing to work right, but they knew they needed to get a phone to get well, I shouldn't say knew they wanted to get a phone to get into the market. So one of their mockups was very similar to the iPod, where it had the rotary wheel thing. Yeah, but that was the only user interface, and so you actually used it like a rotary phone to dial numbers. So you would spin it around. Oh how would you text on it? Spin it around? I don't know how you would text on it. Yeah, that's insane. I think you could. That's interesting to rotary though, Yeah, I think you could. If I remember right, there was a way to type because you could search and I remember, like you it would go across the keyboard and then you left you could text, like yeah, that would be insane, that would be really insane. Yeah, this what's crazy. We have. We have some gen z uh listeners and watchers who all hail the watcher, who have no idea what T nine texting is. Yeah, yeah, yeah we this was for our gen z listeners. This is probably a pretty big okay boomer mill Are you a teen? That? Were you a T nine guy? For sure? I was not, really, I was just a full on I'm going to be in control and go and type the whole word. That's insane. I was fast, that's insane. That was really quick. I bet I could still do it. Yeah, let's get some. Let's get someone that's race. I bet we can find some on eBay for like bet we could get those for so cheap. Do they still sell SIM cards? Yeahs a SIM card in the in my Galaxy phone. Yeah, there we go, let's do it. Let's just SIM card in your iPhone. No, these virtual simiiphones now not yours. I'm pretty sure they don't your iPhone twelve. Let me see this thing. I'm pretty sure unless that maybe that is. That's what I'm saying. Let me see it. I'll tell you, I'll let you. I'm not going to open it. Yeah, that's it that's where you're some card is the new ones all have virtual sims though, Yeah, but you don't have a new one. Bro, let's say it together. You're hey, thanks for checking out this episode of Things Other Than last Night. If you're here and you're a little shocked because you've been watching ASMR videos all night and you woke up to the sound of my laughter, let me help you out real quick and join back in the ASMR. One thing that would help us a lot, and the algorithm is if you have some comments or some reviews, if you're on the podcast app, we'd really appreciate that and it would help us grow this show. So thanks for your support. But if not, and you're just here trying to sleep, I hope I interrupted it. But here's another advertisement. Jeez, okay, I know this is reminiscing. So they so in December first, twenty twelve, they had eighty million users worldwide. At that point they had captured forty one or forty five percent of the global smartphone market. Wow, okay. Over the next ten years they just slowly declined. And just wait, which year did they release it as a phone instead of just an email thing? Two thousand and three I think yeah, two thousand and three, okay, uh and so yea and seven. It was like the business phone, like if you were a business person. That was how I was always marketed originally, especially like when it was a phone for professionals. Yeah, because before it was even a phone, when it was just an email device, email was still noting everybody did. Yeah. Yeah, it wasn't like it wasn't a public It was either you use this for work or you use this to get scammed out of all your money. Yeah, yeah, pretty much. But over time, like email became a more popular things, they started marketing it to everyone, right, the phone feature, and it became but it still was very popular business because a lot of businesses, the BlackBerry became a status symbol. And it also was something that the company would buy in bulk for all their employees so that way they could keep in touch with you at all times. Right, because before a lot of people don't realize this, there was a time when you would clock out and you were gone. Yeah, there's no way for them to and yeah, this changed that. This made it possible for them to get ahold of you at all times, sweet time. And what was interesting about how they got the deal. They got the deals with a lot of the like Verizon in Bell South and all these companies, because they were like, your people are going to be able your your customers are going to be able to be more connected. They're doing email, they're doing phone calls, they're doing messages. There's a lot more moving through, so you're selling more minutes, you're selling more text messages. Well, they got the deal done off that sale, like that selling point, and then they launched BlackBerry Messenger BBM is what they called it, and it was basically face yeah, and so then but you had to pay the service to BlackBerry. So BlackBerry got paid for all your texts and it was more reliable than the text messaging was, and so everybody would go to Blackberries. Yeah, you could only communicate with other people with Blackberries, but it was kind of a status. Yeah, it was a status thing. Well, here's what's interesting was the BlackBerry. The audacity of BlackBerry. In the late two thousands, when Facebook launched messenger and Instagram had DMS and all these other companies had like a messaging feature, BlackBerry tried suing all these companies to be like, you're stealing our idea. Which is just like it's it's just a messenger. What do you mean, like you're stealing our idea? So they try to act like it was proprietary what they were doing, and they were still in all these other companies, Well they just try what INTP did to them. I mean, I guess that's fair, and I mean, to be fair, they did get in suits with just about every company you can think of, sure, which is kind of just a corporate thing to do, Like you have a legal department that just goes around being like can we make money off of yeah? Kind of honestly that's the corporate world. But anyways, the peak of in twenty twelve, they hit their peak forty five percent of the global market. Today it's zero percent. Technically it's like zero point zero is zero one, Like there's people who have them, but it's effectively zero percent of the global markets in use. And they they shifted their focus from selling phones and pro and consumer products to cybersecurity. So they're like still a company and they're still a pretty successful company doing cybersecurity products, and they're selling software to businesses cybersecurity, and they have the phone division. They still sell the phones. I don't think they're making any new phones anymore. I think they yeah, made the last one in twenty eighteen, but technically still do sell them and service them. Motorola is trying to make their comeback. Yeah, I saw they made the Razor two or whatever. Why. I mean, the razor was sick, honestly, and I say this it's full conviction. I don't know if there has been a thing in my life that has been cooler than the Motorola Razer, like cooler, like just that was so freaking sick. Yeah, you guys hear the poor right. I was like, Tim's got an Ipho twelve because you know, some people have like some rich people have like private planes, and some people own islands, and some people own boats. Some middle class people have a payment on a boat. They don't know it yet the bank does. Uh. But uh but Tim. Tim is on here, unashamedly saying the coolest thing I've ever had. I didn't say I've ever had. I said I remember scene. I didn't have one. Oh scene. It's just the coolest thing that's ever existed in my lifetime. In my lifetime, there are stealth bombers, but stealth bombers are war spaces nerds. The motorol eraser. You pull a motorol eraser out in math class, send a text message on that motorol eraser. Holy crap, that's a cool guy. That guy is so cool in that motoroal eraser. It has one vowel. The other vowel they just got rid of, so they nowadays are still in business. Whatever. There's here's the deal. This whole topic I brought up because of this guy. Can you pronounce his name? Ball Silly? Yeah, So this guy, Ball Silly. A couple of important things about Ball Silly. So he's the business man, the big, big bad business boy at the company. And he came in, what are you looking at me like that? For? I look at you like that, I looking at our audience like that Where you guys heard him say that big bad business boy. That's what the BBBS bureau BBB big bad business boy. That's what it stands for. Okay, let's try it again, buddy, let's try it business bureau. You're saying b B B. No no no no no no no no no no no no stop stop stop side b B big bad business business. The second piece, the third the second piece to be second P S two b's okay, that's why the second accounts for dude, big bad business. Point. No, you have abbreviations all the time where it doesn't count all the words. Like it's just like, oh, this doesn't work at our cool abbreviation world. We're gonna drop one of those. And they're like, is just an extra P. It's bp B, why not make it b B b B. But that's just kind of about you don't know when you do four bes in a row, you don't know how many bees. You said, you look at any peace business bad business boy, he's the deal. So he all these guys got super freaking rich off of this. Okay, they were doing ten billion a year at the peak of the company rich. This sucks these guys. These guys were literal billionaires they're making they made a billion dollars off this, literally and so balsilly living in uh Canada, big hockey boy, okay, and he said, how cool would it be if Canada had a hockey team. They had a few, but he wanted his town to have a hockey that's like their thing. No, he wanted he wanted his town in Canada to have a hockey team. Okay, in his town. I said in the beginning, do you remember it's some Keynadian town. It's not like one of the It's not it's not Toronto or Calgary like one of the ones. You know. I mean, it's a one you probably have heard of, Waterloo. Yeah, see you've heard of it, but it's not sure it's important. So Waterloo. So he went to the NHL and he tried really really hard to get a franchise, and so he tried in two thousand and six to get the Pittsburgh Penguins. The board voted against him. In two thousand and seven, he tried to get the Nashville Predators and the board voted against him. In two thousand and nine, he tried to get the Phoenix Coyotes and the board voted against him. In twenty eleven, he tried to get the Sabers, and this time he used it. He didn't put his name on the bit. He was like, He's like, if they don't know it's me, maybe I could get it. And the board shut him down. What is on taper is that they knew that he was trying to move a team to Canada. And then we got plenty of those we don't need anymore. We don't want any more teams in Canada. We don't like it there. Okay, what in reality was is they did not like him at all. They thought he was an arrogant businessman. And allegedly, I don't know if this is true, but allegedly their biggest competitor was Palm Pilot in the early days, and Polm Pilot tried a hostile So when I said earlier, I had a palm and you went, I don't know who that is. Did you have a palm Pilot? I don't know what a palm is. Yeah, Paul is the company. Pilot's the phone. That's like saying, like you know, a Honda Civic and you're like, I'm pretty sure palm Pilot was owned by a different company, like pom Pilot was the the thing. Palm Pilot was owned by Paul. I love this so annoying. It was you a robotics and then it became Paul. That's what I'm thinking. I used to think it was. I thought it was just robotic. I think owned by Ford. It's like something else. Honest is just a name. Whatever. Man, I should be the teacher on this show. Pilot. Bomb Pilot wanted to came to Research in Motion early BlackBerry days and said, hey, we want to like partner with you, and so here's an offer. And Research Emotion was like, we don't like that offer, and pump Pilot was like, what about a hostile takeover? Your Your shares are super cheap, and so they were like, yeah, what if we were just like, which is a corporate pirates? Yeah, like we're gonna jump on your boat. We're gonna jump on your boat and there's nothing you can do about it. This is my boat now. And so they threatened it and they were like, they're like, sell it to us or we're gonna hostile take over, and they like, okay, we'll sell it to you, and they like drug their feet until they could get a really big deal and make their shares go up to where the Palm Pilot could afford it. They pulled it off. They got lucky. They kind of flew a little close to the sun there, but they didn't pull it off. So pomp Pilot and Mike Paul Silly or Jim Paul Silly specifically had like beef and so he was constantly yeah, I would say bragging to the owner of Palm Pilot to be like, what, how much better we are than you? And I guess allegedly, I don't know if this is true, but I guess allegedly he was in the process of buying the Penguins the first purchase, and he was bragging to the owner of the Palm Pilot in two thousand and six to be like, you guys still come buying in an NHL team, And I guess that got back to NHL and they were like, we don't want this guy and our owner group. Yeah, so they just blocked him out of it. From that point on, Balcilly was a part of another interesting thing because the SEC came knocking in the middle of their big explosive growth in like two thousand and seven. Because what Balsilly did was and Mike knew about Mike lozartists knew about this. It wasn't just Balsilly's thing. But it seems like Basili was kind of like the figurehead of this. He said, Hey, we need to cover a lot of ground so that way we could come out as the front runner on this, and we need to do it quickly. But they don't have the top talent in the world. They have good talent that on the top talent. And so what they did is they went to Google, Microsoft, Motorola, all the biggest companies in the world, and they came and they were like, Hey, we're going to offer you this really big salary and this huge stock compensation package. And they said, but what we're going to do is the stock compensation package, We're going to give it to you three years ago when it was way cheaper, and so they put the date on it. They just scribbled it out and changed the date on it, so that way what today would have been like two hundred and fifty grand in stocks is ten million in stocks, and so they're like, you get ten million in compensations. They were able to attract ridiculously down to people that they could not normally afford, right, and they were giving them ridiculously high compensation packages. They were lying, Yeah, they were frotting, and the sec investigation sound that they knew exactly what they were doing. And even a lot of the employees, like last them, they were like is this legal, Like are you allowed to do this? And they're like, we'll pay the fines. I have an NHL team. He was like he's like, first of all, I've got an NHL team, and so you heard of them? Yeah, And they're like, yeah, that's yours. And he's like, uh, everything, I go to a lot of I've seen the stadium before. And so they they end up getting this whole uh, this case comes down on them ball silly uh and the whole Mike, Lizartist and another COO or ordered to pay back eighty three million dollars for this compensation thing. They ended up going back to the which was like the maximum penalty they could have got. They end up going back appealing. They got it down to forty and they split it three ways. And these guys are billionaires, so it didn't really matter. One of the interesting things was Jim Balsilli was put on like a prohibitionary period probation probationary period, and so he wasn't allowed to be a CEO anymore, and so he maintained his board seat, but he wasn't allowed to be a part of the company CEO in the day to day No, there was a probationary period and so for a year he was removed from his CEO seat. He was on the board and then that expired and then he went right back to being CEO as you would. And then he started He continued doing all the same stuff he was doing before, allegedly, but never got as NHL team. The company became very, very successful, but declined pretty quickly. In twenty fourteen, both of them sold all their stock and left the company. But the biggest winner Doug. Doug freakin Doug. This little guy became this guy, and he had the foresight. In two thousand and seven, when iPhone announced their their switch teams, he sold all of his stock saw that for one point two billion dollars. And now he dresses up like a race car driver and he's actually one of the world's richest men. Got out really early, Yeah, got out really early. I think he does do a race. I don't think he just dresses up like a race car driver. I think he does like it's some charity race every year. But he was the biggest winner. Freaking there's no point for end. There's still white sEH white number seventeen. I don't know what that means. Okay, it's Canada, it's a different place. I don't know what that means. But yeah, he's the biggest winner out of all this he and for him, Him and him and Mike Loz artists. Mike and Mike and him were like childhood friends. They started the company. Now they have like a but when they when it went down, Yeah, do they lose all their money? Then they lost money, Yeah, but I don't want to say they lost all their money because the company, the company ended up being able to restructure started just doing cybersecurity. They were still selling UH phones outside the US, they just weren't really big in the US anymore. Yeah, And then over time their phones lost market share, but they were the replacement cybersecurity. So the company was able to pivot. And it's still around and they're still selling cybersecurity products. They're not as big as they used to be. They used to be the number one and player I think in Canada. Maybe maybe just in their municipality, but at least in that municipality, they were the number one player. Today they're just a decent sized company. They're still listed on publicly on the stock market. You can invest it if you want. I don't know if I would, but you could. If you want, I would. I'll take out a twenty five thousand dollars personal loan to drop into BlackBerry stock, but him and Doug and Mike BlackBerry to the moon. Doug and Mike have a nonprofit that they're running, and they're also doing like venture funds. Jim just fishes. I think that's it. Yeah, so this is for Robert and for our team. Can we instead of uh, instead of like the fiddle off this time, can we do like an old ring tone? Yeah, that'd be really cool. That's the story of BlackBerry. Had had a lot of opportunity to they were the front runner. They could have stayed the front runner if they had the same kind of vision that iPhone did, but they didn't, and that's why I think AM is going to go out of business in the next fifteen years. Hot take. Yeah, thanks for checking out this episode. If you liked this one, you should check out AT and T. We look at a time in the past when they were just a monopoly, a straight up monopoly. They got broken up by the US government. They said what you're doing is wrong, so they broke them up in a bunch of different pieces, and then over the years AT and T said, we don't care about the law, and they just bought them all back up and became a monopoly again, really really cool, great episode, a lot of history, and also it's about phones and stuff. So if you like this one, maybe you'd like that one too. But hey, if you like the show, the best way to support us is by becoming a patron. But if you don't want to become a patron, a really good way that you can support us is by checking us out on social. You can follow us on social uh, in literally every platform. We're just at tillin Podcasts. Great play place to support the show and keep up with our content. Watch some funny videos, see some funny pictures. Great thing to do. But we're just glad that you're here and we'll see you next week. Upon things I learned last night

BlackBerry was once the undisputed king of smartphones. In the early 2000s, their devices were ubiquitous, especially among business professionals. The iconic BlackBerry design, with its full QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigation, was the epitome of high-tech style. So how did this pioneer fall from grace so swiftly when the iPhone arrived on the scene?

BlackBerry started in 1984 when two college friends, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, formed a company called Research In Motion (RIM). Their first product was the Inter@ctive Pager, which allowed two-way messaging. After achieving modest success, RIM focused on mobile email and developed the BlackBerry 850. The turning point came in 2002 when RIM released the BlackBerry 5810, the first BlackBerry phone.

The 5810 was a breakthrough device that allowed users to access email on the go. It soon developed a cult following, especially among corporate users who needed to be constantly connected. Dubbed the “CrackBerry,” it was addictive technology. BlackBerry cemented its status as the must-have business phone when Oprah Winfrey declared her love for it on her popular TV show in 2002.

Over the next several years, BlackBerry continued to improve its offerings, adding phone capabilities, web browsing, apps, and more. By 2012, BlackBerry had peaked with over 80 million active users worldwide. However, trouble was brewing. While BlackBerry was focused on incrementally evolving its platform, Apple was preparing to revolutionize the market.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, it made the BlackBerry look antiquated overnight. With its full touchscreen and advanced software, the iPhone redefined what a smartphone could be. Where BlackBerry clung to its signature keyboard, Apple understood that touch was the future. BlackBerry attempted its own touchscreen phones, but its software wasn’t built for fingers.

As iPhone sales skyrocketed, BlackBerry’s market share went into freefall. It tried to keep pace with halfhearted attempts at touchscreen devices and a new operating system, but it was too little too late. By 2016, BlackBerry had less than 1% of the global smartphone market. The company gave up making its own phones in 2020.

Ultimately, BlackBerry was too focused on what made it successful in the past to see where the market was heading. It failed to capture the imagination of consumers the way Apple did. The company that invented the smartphone concept could not envision the next generation. This cautionary tale reminds us that innovation requires risk-taking and a willingness to cannibalize one’s own products to stay ahead of changing consumer tastes.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning and laughing a lot while you do, you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




BlackBerry – Wikipedia

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