It seems obvious to me that RIM as a company is suffering from irrelevancy in the world of the iPhone and iPad. I understand the need for RIM to try and keep morale high for employees, customers and developers, however the ways in which they've gone about doing so seem completely absurd. Here are two recent examples.
RIM released a music video, Devs, BlackBerry Is Going To Keep On Loving You, in which members of the BlackBerry developer relations team literally sing a song encouraging developers to not lose faith in their waning platform. Their video description justifies it thusly:
We are going to keep loving developers at Research In Motion, all the way to BlackBerry 10 and beyond. We're Going To Keep On Loving You.
Why should a music video encourage software developers to continue developing for their platform? It's utterly absurd. It seems to me that RIM should have taken more of a proactive approach and invested in improving BlackBerry 10, rather than pleading developers to stick around by spending resources on an unnecessary music video.
Judging from the like/dislike ratio of the video on YouTube, I'm not the only person who feels this way.
Even more recently, The Official BlackBerry Blog posted an article entitled Black Sheep by Choice, in which Donny H, the Inside BlackBerry Blog Manager, veers dangerously close to propaganda in order to further motivate existing BlackBerry devotees to not abandon their sinking ship.
When it's got to the stage of promoting your own brand by calling users "Black Sheep", it must be fairly clear that you are not doing well. At least Piers Morgan is a BlackBerry fan, I suppose.
Turn it Around
I don't want this article to trash RIM; I enjoy watching the underdog turn around and become successful. From what I've heard about BlackBerry 10, it's actually not bad. One of the biggest challenges RIM faces is building their BlackBerry 10 platform. They need developers, apps, music and videos. This is where Apple excels.
RIM should focus on shipping a finished, polished and truly great product as quickly as they can. Developers and customers will come with time.