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BlackBerry’s arrogant attitude contributed to their downfall – Strive Masiyiwa

strive-masiyiwaIn a post on his Facebook page, Econet Wireless founder and current group chairman, Strive Masiyiwa commented on the current BlackBerry episode of its downfall saying he was not surprised by the decline as he had experience their arrogance.

Titled “‘Attitude Determines Altitude’, even for a Business”, Masiyiwa said in the post that when his group tried to get BlackBerry to implement the consumer BlackBerry Internet Service across Econet networks in Africa “their attitude was shocking”. The arrogance he say is what caused him to ditch plans to work with BlackBerry once he learnt of Google’s plans with Android. Android ofcourse, together with IOS, pretty much eclipsed BlackBerry globally.

Ironically though, Econet Zimbabwe, one of the largest (if not the largest) operation on the continent, later partnered BlackBerry around 2011 only to be blocked by the Zimbabwe telecoms regulator from implementing BIS.

Here’s the full post:

Attitude Determines Altitude”, even for a Business.

If you are in business, you have probably been reading about the struggles of the once mighty Blackberry. It does not surprise me, even though I am saddened, at the impact on people’s jobs and livelihood.

When Blackberry was first beginning to get going, I sent some of our senior executives to negotiate an agreement for some of our markets, in Africa. Their attitude, was shocking. After several months of their arrogant attitude I came across a report on Google’s plans to launch Android. I told my people, “forget, Blackberry and focus on preparing for Android, that is where the future lies.” Some of my executives were quite distressed by my decision, because Blackberry were in an unassailable market position.

Attitude determines your altitude, if you have a bad attitude, even if you are way up there, you will come crashing down, and if you are still trying to take off, a bad attitude, will keep you on the ground, revving your engines but going nowhere.

No matter how big or successful you are, if your customers have to literally beg you to do business with them, then there is a serious problem.

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27 thoughts on “BlackBerry’s arrogant attitude contributed to their downfall – Strive Masiyiwa

  1. isnt this the same attitude econet is showing in zimbabwe when it fails to freely share its ussd codes with many developers in zimbabwe

  2. Oh, Strive actually speaks.

    The arrogance that Blackberry had was very similar to that which Nokia and Microsoft had when the smartphone disruption happened. They thought it wouldnt touch their markets and it wouldnt be worth their effort. Remember Steve Ballmer famously laughing at the idea of a phone over $100 (iPhone – $500 then)

    1. Not that I support extreme Econet’s practices, but I think he meant “his team” at Econet. Its pretty much commonplace

  3. Surely the most arrogant mobile phone maker is Apple. Disregard for users, industry standards like USB/NFC/Sim size, bossing partners like Google and other app makers around. Look where they are!

    Off the mark here Strive

  4. blaah blaaahh blaaahhh ECONET is equally arrogant if not worse, who gives him the right to be judge??? and such a statement on a facebook page for such a guy???? am disappointed, didnt expect this from u

  5. Blackberry has lost it,technology is fast shifting,holding a monopoly system doesnt work they should have know…Apple could be next,& nokia is silly for trying to do it,i can understand ther’re need for revenue but goin the iphone itune nature is a one way trip…

  6. I only followed this article so I could comment that this is the same arrogance being displayed by Econet and behold … the likes of @five_rand:disqus and @25bd1ba8099301f3756918b49a4f022c:disqus bit me to it. i couldn’t have said it any better.

  7. Econet is equally arrogant. i mean who launches a package(4G LTE) and a week later the market cannot acquire it!

  8. haha, this is quite funny stuff from strive. he should look at his own econets arrogance before pointing at others. is he smoking some hallejulah weed or what?

  9. Econet is only big in Zimbabwe, no in Africa. Africa is not Zimbabwe with less than 10million subscribers.

  10. On the other hand, BlackBerry’s announcement earlier this month that it
    had formed a special board committee to explore strategic alternatives
    including a possible sale of the company could give would-be customers
    pause, according to analysts and carrier executives. People might be
    reluctant to buy a phone and commit to an ecosystem of applications and
    services if they aren’t sure the company will be around.

  11. Well, people have options and that is the beauty of competition. Tell that to some payment processors in Zimbabwe. Some of us we are now just chilling for better. Takatopedza navo.

  12. Strive is actually celebrating the demise of his contenders. It’s unfortunate. I think he himself should try to act as a customer and dial their customer services numbers, then he will know that they are actually cooking and spicing arrogance in their backyard.

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