Notebook 03.06.12: RIMM, Product Cycles and Content

I am off to OFC/NFOEC tomorrow and as Andrew Schmitt of Infonetics tweeted (@aschmitt) earlier, I am looking forward to the “Drink every time someone uses the word “bandwidth” and “explosion” in the same sentence. #OFCNFOEC drinking game.”  This is post is a collection of things I am thinking about, therefore I am writing them down in my notebook to validate or dismiss.

RIMM: With the news last week of more layoffs within the WebOS group at HPQ, it shows the missed opportunity that RIMM had with PALM.  If RIMM had acquired PALM instead of QNX, they would have had a legit, complete OS to put across their devices.  The mobile device market would have four OS contenders – not three.  Unfortunately, HPQ acquired PALM and has pretty much killed WebOS.  I am not saying that acquiring PALM would have saved RIMM, but they would have had a chance.   I have spent a fair amount of time posting about RIMM; I read the other day that RIMM was up that day on take over rumors.  I still wonder why would someone want to own the RIMM business?  Seems crazy to me and as for the new CEO, I agree with him the only way out is hard work and hope they made some correct decisions.

Service Providers: I read an interesting sell side note from Deutsche Bank today in which the analyst (Brian Modoff) wrote that he had spoken to several US carriers who were disappointed in one of their large infrastructure suppliers because this company was not designing products how they wanted the products designed.  Well…that pretty much sums up my post here and here from the last few weeks.  Nothing kills creativity faster in the organization than becoming the outsourced engineering arm of your customer.  I want to solve my customers challenges, I just want to do it on terms that are best for my business – not their business.

Content: I have posted three times on content.  For some reason, I glanced at a TV today in a hotel lobby that was tuned to CNBC.  There was some bizarre conversation about Apple and mobile devices and Dow 13k and it triggered a thought.  One of the trends I have been tracking is what I call DIY content.  That was the point I was making about Verizon not buying NFLX, but hiring the team from NFLX.  My view is that it is increasingly easier for content owners to distribute their content and this will increasingly pressure content distributors and content aggregators.  The middle ground between the consumer and the content creator will NOT be a good place to be unless you can own the distribution ecosystem (i.e. devices) like AAPL.

Off to LA tomorrow for OFC and looking forward to meeting PollyAnna and hearing about the how the internet is about to break under the weight of all those videos.

/wrk

* It is all about the network stupid, because it is all about compute. *

** Comments are always welcome in the comments section or in private. **

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