NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Research in Motion (RIMM) died last week. True, it's not official. But, the City of Waterloo must be asking nearby Brampton about proper procedures for issuing corporate death certificates. Of course, Nortel Networks croaked in that Ontario town back in 2009.
RIM's demise impacts the "Silicon Valley of the North" profoundly. Waterloo residents have to wonder if their city could turn into the modern day version of Springsteen's Youngstown:
Now the yard's just scrap and rubble/He said "Them big boys did what Hitler couldn't do."
Even out of ultra-polite Canada, it's surprising what little outrage Canadians direct toward RIM. When an auto plant shutters in a small Ontario town, people go berserk.
Maybe it's because of the University of Waterloo and the other tech companies that locate there. Maybe Canadians feel like RIM's looming death will not kill the region. Or Canadians could have less concern over the ability of well-educated, tech-savvy countrymen and women getting back on their feet and snagging solid jobs somewhere else. That's optimistic and quite possibly sensible, but it hardly justifies the free pass the nation appears to have extended to RIM, particularly former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. After all, somewhere else could be not in Waterloo, not in Ontario and maybe even not in Canada.The Toronto Maple Leafs get more heat for missing the playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens catch more grief for not hiring a French-speaking head coach. Yet, win or lose, well-managed or not, both franchises boost rather than ding the economy and serve as sources of national pride, not embarrassment. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party faced more political inquiries over the last decade than any American politician. And, here at home, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon had to answer questions -- twice -- from clueless congressmen about an honest error that pales in comparison to the wool RIM pulled over investors' eyes for the last 18 months. As TheStreet's Marek Fuchs asked last week Were Previous BlackBerry 10 Comments Delusion -- or Lies? As Fuchs riffed, up until its conference call RIM did not speak of problems regarding the launch. Then, all of a sudden, it offers a lamebrain excuse that the "large volume of code" associated with BlackBerry 10 features "has proven more time consuming than anticipated." Richard Saintvilus of TheStreet wasn't buying that in RIM Shoots Self in Foot, Then Puts Foot in Mouth:
Let me get this straight: This project has been your so-called "number 1 priority" but it has been mismanaged to the extent that ... it [will] miss the all-important holiday shopping season ...
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