Posts Tagged ‘Jim Balsillie’

Research in Motion

On September 16, 2011, it was announced that RIM, also known as Research in Motion, had missed analyst expectations for a third consecutive quarter.

For full disclosure, I own less than a hundred shares of RIM.

I see RIM’s decline as a metaphor for the decline of the United States.

Despite RIM being a Canadian-based company, most of its North American business comes from the U.S.

The similarities I see for the decline of the U.S. can be simply summed up as this: Turning their back on the principles that made them great.

Despite the United States being founded as a constitutional republic based on limited government, it has now become less economically free and more socialistic at the federal level than Canada.

What made RIM go from a company with a few employees at inception in 1984 to become a global wireless behemoth at its share price height in 2008? It didn’t get that way from its two co-CEOs blaming reporters for unfair coverage. Nor did it become great by blaming analysts and stock speculators for allegedly low-balling its stock.

It got there by vision, dedication, long hours, persistence, and serving their customer’s needs.

In my view, the principles that made America great were: limited constitutional government, a healthy distrust of government, the Protestant work ethic, rugged individualism, and personal responsibility.

Comparing to today’s America, its federal government is now more centralized and expansive than Canada’s, too many Americans don’t effectively have enough of a distrust of government, or they’d question something like 9/11 more. The Protestant work ethic, rugged individualism and personal responsibility is also out the window, with Americans repeatedly bailing out Wall Street bankster gamblers.

Once, last year, I chatted with a taxi driver with whom I conversed with frequently, and he told me he about his conversation with one of co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s attorneys.

He recounted how she was on her way to meet with NHL officials to discuss Balsillie acquiring an NHL team. She apparently seemed completely oblivious to the likely outcome. It was his third attempt, after being rebuffed twice. All denials were foreseen, in my view, due to the lack of finesse Balsillie exercised in going over the heads of the NHL team owners, and expecting that he could acquire a team because he thought it was justified in his own mind, and even on an objective basis, such as offering the highest price.

What came to my mind was: doesn’t he, and even his lawyer, GET IT? You annoyed the owners — they don’t want you in, and maybe never will — now get over it!

To me, that third failed attempt is instructive to all that has happened to RIM in 2011, and the time preceding that, which ultimately led to its current fate.

Can RIM come back? Can America come back? The answer in both cases, I believe, is an emphatic, YES, IF. If they turn their back on their current path and once again embrace the principles that made them great.

So, please, Mike Lazaridis — embrace the principles that made your company great, made you a billion, and enabled you the opportunity to donate over $100 million of your own personal wealth to establish the world’s largest private theoretical physics institute in Waterloo, Canada, where you wanted, and not where others told you it may be more economically feasible to do so.

And please, Jim Balsillie — forget about ever owning an NHL team, unless you don’t mind bending over backwards for the current owners on the mere hope that you will get back into their good graces, and stop blaming bad reviews for your products, and start delivering what the market wants, and then — and only then, will RIM make a comeback over the next few years.

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