Twenty years ago, I got a pager that was produced by a Canadian company called Research In Motion. At the time, I worked for the Los Angeles Times and they bought the pager and paid for the service. I thought I was so cool having that thing on my hip. Until that point, I thought only important people like doctors needed to be connected 24/7. Shortly thereafter, the company upgraded me to a BlackBerry. And I was hooked. I called it a CrackBerry. In fact, when I left L.A. and moved back to Richmond, I brought my CrackBerry with me. I bought three BlackBerrys from Verizon in October of 2005, one for each employee at this tiny marketing start-up called Madison+Main.
I still have my BlackBerry. It’s been sitting in my desk drawer for almost ten years. By 2011, I switched to an iPhone and I never looked back. Apparently millions of others did the same. Apple was valued at $600 billion one year later and today it’s one of the world’s largest companies, worth an estimated $1.3 trillion — that’s with a “T” folks. That brings us back to the Canadian company called Research In Motion. Nine years ago, the company sold 50 million CrackBerrys and they controlled fifty percent of the smartphone market. It’s been a long, slow death for BlackBerry and the final nail in the coffin happened last week when TCL Communication announced they would no longer manufacture them. So what went wrong? The brand was strong and they had a great product. Why did they get pounded by competitors? Doing a post-mortem on BlackBerry is pretty easy; there were two main reasons the company failed. Number one: the company never expanded beyond a business niche. Apple understood that smartphones were for everyone but RIM only thought of them as business tools. Reason number two: the company failed to innovate. Research In Motion turned into Research In Slow Motion and trust me, the tech industry requires constant renovation and reinvention.
The long-awaited death of BlackBerry makes me kind of sad, but now I can finally throw away my Quark 6210 because I know it’s never ever coming back. #SpringCleaning
Monday, February 10 – Sign Language
On Monday, the good folks from Keith Fabry hung up our bold new billboard. Our last sign was vandalized, so we capitalized on the circumstance and created another campaign. “Made you look…(that’s what we do.)” Short, sweet, and spot-on. What do you think? Shoot me an email and let me know what you rank our new billboard on a 10-point scale, the higher the better.
Tuesday, February 11 – Broom’s Day
While the rest of the world was busy doing the #BroomChallenge, Client Services Manager Katie “Bossy Rossy” Rossberg took advantage of one of my favorite company benefits by using her community time to volunteer at The Doorways. She put her culinary skills to good use by prepping 20 nutritious meals for their guests who need to be close to the hospital but not far from the feeling of “home.” Speaking of which, I’ve been craving a delicious Lazy Fork dish. (Hint hint, Katie.) And if she wasn’t already making headlines, Katie was also featured in Richmond BizSense alongside our new Office Manager Mollie Banks!
Wednesday, February 12 – Benefit Bowling
On Wednesday, our friends and clients at Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2), hosted their annual Strike Out Cancer event in support of National Prevent Cancer Month. I’m happy to say that the sixth year was a huge success! Over $7,000 was raised as four Chesterfield County high schools took to the lanes in an effort to break the silence surrounding colorectal cancer. Special thanks to Haley Automotive Group for sponsoring the event and to Melissa and Jack of 103.7 Play for MCing.
Thursday, February 13 – Warfighter Recommended
After watching an embarrassing amount of Steve1989MREInfo videos last week, I decided to buy a box of combat MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and treat the team to lunch. I don’t think this is what Molly “Madame President” Whitfield had in mind when she recently told me I had to cut back on so many company lunches. Nonetheless, everyone enjoyed their “brown bag lunches” and Copywriter Derek Fair loved the MRE so much that he, “Might Really Enlist.” #JustKidding #TheresIsAReasonTheyComeWithToiletPaper #MalfunctioningRearEnd
Thursday afternoon, I was lucky to survive our trip to visit our clients in the west end at Pinnacle Living. I suffered a near-death experience when Director of Business and Marketing Leanne “Lead Foot” Ferry forgot that it was raining and attempted an Indy 500-style turn on the I-195 connector, almost launching us into the Woodfin building. But Leanne will always be my “number one faithful friend” despite her dangerous driving habits.
Friday, February 14 – Love Is In The Air
This afternoon, we commuted to C’ville and met with our clients at The Virginia Horse Industry Board. It was a great meeting of the minds and they were especially happy with our Discovery presentation. Hopefully on the ride back to RVA, we won’t run into Leanne. Just kidding. Along with the other Madison+Main-iacs, she’ll be enjoying a short day at the office. I gave them the green light to leave early to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
A Few of Our Favorite Events
CowanGates & Salisbury Country Club Memorial Blood Drive
13620 West Salisbury Road | Midlothian, VA
February 18, 2020 | 2 – 6 p.m.
The American Red Cross states that every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Make a difference and schedule your blood donation by contacting Morgan Barclay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
“I’ve got one assistant, one BlackBerry. That’s my overhead.”
— Mark Wahlberg