Oh, Blackberry™

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?

Also this:

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.

Photo: ilamont.com