Businessweek’s cover story this week is an oral history of “The Rise and Fall of Blackberry,” where a bunch of former employees talk about the early days, as well as some of their more recent missteps, with candor and nostalgia. It is kind of amazing:
When he said, “It’s called a BlackBerry,” people started rolling their eyes. They thought it was a stupid name. This was the height of the dot-com boom. He had this dream of people getting e-mails on the move, and the feeling at the time was, “Why would anyone want their e-mails away from the office?”
Why WOULD anyone want their emails away from the office?
One thing we missed out on was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador,” basically. And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said, “This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.” I said at the meeting: “This kid might outlive RIM.” Everyone laughed.