Continuing my tour of selected speakers at Web 2 this year, I alight upon RIM’s Jim Balsillie, the man responsible for guiding the Blackberry brand through the Skylla of Apple and Kharybdis of Android – or is that the other way ’round?
In any case, RIM has long been the king of enterprise smart phones, but that grip is arguably slipping. However, a suite of new products and an invigorated approach to developers is showing promise. Also eagerly anticipated: The Playbook, RIM’s first tablet product.
Balsille hasn’t been shy when it comes to Apple, he was recently quoted thusly: “We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple.”
Yep, I’m looking foward to speaking with Jim next month! What would you like to ask him? While you are at it, click on over to my posts for DST’s Yuri Milner, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Baidu’s Robin Li, Yahoo’s Carol Bartz and Google’s Eric Schmidt and add your thoughts there as well.
Here are a few thought starters for Balsille:
– What are your expectations for the Playbook? Can or will it cross over from business to consumer?
– RIM is behind when it comes to the developer support, at least perceptually. What are you doing to address that? Do you have a different strategy from Apple and Google?
– Related, what is RIM’s advertising strategy? You currently work with a number of networks, but is there a larger play coming?
– What do you make of Apple?
– Of Android, and HP/Palm? Windows 7?
– Would you ever make an Android-friendly Blackberry?
– What features do you wish RIM had now that we might anticipate?
– Blackberries are often called “the phones you get if you have to have a keyboard.” They are also seen as mainly enterprise phones. Is that fair?
– RIM has been the subject of takeover speculation – do you see that as a distraction?
– Do you see the carrier world shifting in any way?
Leave your questions in comments, and hope to see you at Web 2 this year!