BlackBerries only here

10 Mar 2014

There is often a strong correlation between performance and openness. The stronger the former the greater the latter (of course, except in Apple’s case).

The infamous case of Bill Gates not allowing his children to use iProducts is a clear example.

I was again reminded of this tendency recently when a freelance videographer told me that before confirming on a project for a BlackBerry launch some time ago, he was told he wouldn’t be able to use a competitor’s handset while working on the assignment.

His third-party contact did say it's not that he couldn’t have a non-BB phone, “but you can't use it openly” and suggested he could use it in the bathroom. The contact admitted he had an iPhone himself but is discreet with it, then offered him a spare BB they had in the office, which the freelancer turned down as he did the project.

The correlation of course is not just true with corporates – it applies to individuals as well as governments. There is no shortage of incompetent people who prefer to operate in closed environments, where discourse is stifled. Fortunately, unlike with individuals and nations, companies with such leaders tend to fail over time or the bosses get turfed out.

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