Sunday, July 15, 2012

Harness the power!

These days it almost seems like using a BlackBerry is taboo.  It somehow seems similar to being the kid who is always picked last for games in grade school (I know, because I was that kid). Rewind 5 years and it wasn't like that at all, using a BlackBerry was cool and even prestigious.
One thing that can be said about #TeamBlackBerry is that we have some of THE most loyal and inventive members in the mobile world! One of the things I think RIM needs to do more of is to use these members to help improve and enlighten #TeamBlackBerry and the BlackBerry experience. Originally, that was the intent of my blog. Teach people things about BlackBerry and how powerful they really are. I do see RIM starting to embrace their fan base a bit more lately.  Recent interviews with Kevin from Crackberry and the CEO and CMO of RIM are proof of this.  But I think we need to take it to the next level.

#TeamBlackBerry members are a smart and resourseful group. When BlackBerry first released the original Storm series of phones, the OS was pretty rough. #TeamBlackBerry, never one to wait for an official OS release (or a leaked OS) invented the "hybrid" OS. Hybrids were basically files taken from other BlackBerry OS' and patched together to create a better overall OS. These hybrids weren't just created by one person, they were made by many different people. Someone even went so far as to write software to allow you to make your own hybrid. This was totally independent of RIM and no one ever asked for payment for their work.

This isn't atypical of #TeamBlackBerry. Last year they also created an initiative to help the PlayBook sell better in retail stores http://bit.ly/OAT1oH This was in response to what most people felt was poor in store support by retailers.  It involved making sure demo mode was enabled, that the latest OS was installed etc.

There was also the issue of themes on OS 7. When the latest generation of devices were released with OS 7, #TeamBlackBerry was told that the new "liquid graphics" had broken the theme engine. #TeamBlackBerry and the dedicated group of theme developers didn't like that answer and decided to find a way. And find a way they did! Through a series of file renaming and other creative programing methods, a way was found. There are now countless OS 7 themes available, to this day however there is no official theme building software from RIM.

There are also some very creative members of #TeamBlackBerry who decided to show the world what they thought should be the evolution of BlackBerry OS. They created OS 8 (prior to the announcement of BlackBerry 10) and posted it for the world to see. http://forums.crackberry.com/general-discussion-f2/os-8-our-vision-624556/

Now we have several members who have created designs for the newest BlackBerry 10 platform phones. There are a few available online to see. Here is the latest example. http://crackberry.com/hows-blackberry-10-phone-physical-keyboard

So where am I going with all this? My point is simple. RIM needs to find a way to use people like these to their advantage. How? I'm not entirely sure. How about creating a geek squad of fanboys like me that could do in store demos of BlackBerry 10 phones. Give us a free phone before they are released, let us spend some time and learn about them, then turn us loose. It would be a win win situation. The talent pool of developers should be utilized as well. Somehow. Some way.  What if certain apps were developed and if well received, RIM purchased them and integrated them to become core apps?  I'm sure app development is costly for RIM, so why not purchase the whole app?  I would actually love to see RIM do this with Poynt.

How do you think RIM can Harness the power?

Leave your ideas in the comments, I'd love to hear them!