last week about the RIM open letters, and my colleague Klint Finley gave three suggestions about how RIM can survive. And then there was a story by Chris Nerney in ITworld talking about how key developers are ending their support for Blackberry, including Seesmic and others.We covered the story
But one of the more surprising factoids to come to light was that RIM has three billion dollars in cash. So I thought I would ask some of my readers what they should do with this hoard? I got some interesting answers.
Several felt it was too late to do much to turn around the company's fortunes. "That's the big problem with being successful, you tend to forget how to innovate. Any new product has problems being as successful as your last success. Apple is one of the few that did not get trapped (yet) in that problem (after Scully)."
One reader wanted a complete fire sale: "My recommendation to the RIM board: Shut 'er down and distribute the cash to stockholders via a high-premium stock repurchase. Show our appreciation to them for sticking with us and admit we failed to succeed in our second act. (As so many companies do, mine included!)" Otherwise, he mentioned, "They could go the route of Palm, who fell behind, turned into a white-dwarf business, failed, and got bought by HP (the all-time buyer of dead horses)."
Others disagreed. "I think there is room for a third, business-focused vendor. Apple and Google will always be primarily focused on the consumer, and so I think the market has room [for RIM]." And another colleague agreed: "They're close to the edge, but it's not too late." A third thought they could recover if they went into a vertical market, such as Nextel did for blue-collar cell users. Remember Nextel? A fourth comment suggested they fix their development interfaces, which isn't going to help if developers are already abandoning ship.
Another said, "They need to start focusing on current technologies to bring in income." Which is interesting because they are selling phones like hotcakes - it's just that Android and Apple are selling more of them.
What do you think RIM should do with their dough? Feel free to leave your own thoughts.