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 GROUP 1 – Read the Case: The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry Teaching Note and Answer the Questions BelowCase Synopsis: The launch of BlackBerry by Research in Motion (RIM) in 1999 laid the foundation for the development of smartphones. The next decade was a period of spectacular growth for RIM, making its two co-CEOs billionaires. At the end of 2007 the company had a market capitalization of more than $60 billion. Sales peaked at almost $20 billion in 2011. In 2016, sales were $2.2 billion and the company had lost money for four straight years. With the market capitalization having fallen to $4 billion by August 2016, the survival of BlackBerry (the company changed its name from RIM to BlackBerry) was uncertain.Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the process of innovation and the linkages between strategy, competitive advantage, and innovation.
  2. Understand the challenges of being a pioneer versus a follower.
  3. Understand leadership and building a culture of adaptability and change, especially in a successful organization.
  4. Understand some of the fundamental leadership differences between Lazaradis/Balsillie and Steve Jobs, especially as it relates to vision, customer focus and simplicity of message.

Case Study Questions:

  1. Describe the industry that the original BlackBerry competed in.
  2. Why was the original BlackBerry product so successful? What was the basis for BlackBerry’s competitive advantage?
  3. When competitors introduced new products, how did BlackBerry react? Why did BlackBerry react this way?
  4. Why was BlackBerry unable to sustain its industry position?
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