Lessons from Blackberry: Embracing New Technologies as a Business Owner

The emergence of new technology could be overwhelming especially if you’ve been in the business for a long time, but being at the top of your game is something that must be a priority for business owners that want to stay relevant in the long-term.
Ever wondered why the fall of BlackBerry was that iconic? Why they were kicked down the smartphone hierarchy? This article would explore three main factors that is said to have contributed to the downfall of BlackBerry and how you can avoid those same mistakes as a business owner.
In the UK, BlackBerry is said to have held 33.2% of the smartphone market share in 2011, but as of May 2021, the same study found the BlackBerry smartphone now comprise a 0.01% of the UK smartphone market share. So what really went wrong? Well, here’s what we know:

  1. Blackberry refused to adapt
    You could go back to your younger years when it would have meant the world to you to have an opportunity to type away on an older person’s BlackBerry? I mean, who wouldn’t? I recently helped an older lady type a message on her non-smart device and it took almost ten minutes, so yes, I totally get why we all wanted to hold on to those BlackBerry’s so bad. The BlackBerry messenger revolutionized instant messaging and it had a very good run, but unfortunately, it could hardly finish in the race it started. With the innovation of touchscreen, BlackBerry refused to let go of it’s button phones even when the market showed that the target audience were tilting towards touchscreen devices, by the time they came up with newer designs that included touchscreen, it’s competitors had already made a statement which automatically reduced their customers.
    One of the first lessons you’d learn is economics is that the human want is insatiable and hence, there would always be a desire for more. Desire for a touch screen phone even when the button phones were still very much active definitely did not escape that law. When a product is produced, it is of necessity that it must be improved on regularly in order to keep your consumers coming back. Why do you think apps get updated regularly?
    It is plainly self-destruct to not adapt and improve and this does not apply to just tech-based companies but every industry. If you are in the beauty industry you would definitely agree that the way clothes were sewn in 2011 is quite different from the new systems that have come up now, and even you would agree that if your 2012 tailor refuses to adapt to the new trends you would leave them for someone who is more in tuned with current happenings.
    To maintain relevance in one’s industry, it is imperative to adapt to current trends.
  2. The BlackBerry was focused on catering to a particular set of people
    Now, you may want to stop and consider the fact that luxury brands are usually focused on a particular set of people which are basically people that can afford the luxury right? But here’s what made it different with BlackBerry: They came into the game and were referred to as effectively portable mini-computers, but they made the mistake of being more focused on individuals who worked in big companies for a product that was a necessity for every other consumer notwithstanding where they worked. Smartphone giants like Apple looked at the everyday consumer for the future of smartphones and as time went on, computer oriented phones also started becoming less popular in business environments as these newer devices could offer all of the BlackBerry features and even more. Talk about eating your cake and having it.
    Now every business has its target audience, but sometimes it is important to be sure of the fact that the service you offer cannot be offered by someone else. For example, you sell eggrolls and only that and you are beside a primary school, at first, selling only egg rolls sufficed because; 1) The students never really demanded for more than that. 2) They didn’t even realise that they could get more.
    Someone moves just across and starts selling egg rolls plus cold zobo. You may believe that egg roll is enough to satisfy your target audience as the eggs provides them with their daily protein requirements, but the students will see the zobo as an extra way to consume something chilled after a long day in school and guess what? Zobo is also a healthy drink.
    Notice that your target audience now have options because the service you offer them can be rendered by someone else and they would even get served better. It is important that you should not be oblivious to the needs of your consumers and at the sight of new concepts, be ready to explore.
  3. The BlackBerry Operating system
    One issue with BlackBerrys early operating system was the fact that its users could download very few apps compared to Apple and Android devices and the store was not very user friendly.
    Do you ever bother about customer experience? What is your customer service like? Customer satisfaction plays a big role in the continuity of a business and this cuts across every industry whether it is tech related or not. I learnt somewhere that customers are likely to share their bad experience with a product than their good ones, so don’t even take the risk of not putting your customers into consideration with your products.
    Listen to your consumers and work on whatever feedback they give, their perspectives may help you see through something’s that you may have formerly ignored and also help you work better on following products.
    New tech could put you out of business if you fail to evolve and adapt. You should make sure to stay up to date with modern business technology as it keeps you secured and at a better position in a competitive market.
    So whether you run a start-up, own a small business or are looking to put your money into a venture, you should always have a long-term vision on how the market would evolve and be ready to be ahead of competitors.

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