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TheStreet Open House

Some Respect for Mike Lazaridis of BlackBerry

But he returned to his earlier point that RIM should have bought QNX earlier. Basically, he was suggesting that all of the noise about the separate offices wouldn't matter if the company had made the QNX acquisition earlier.

I agree with that.

If he'd made one decision differently, history, Research In Motion's stock price and Lazaridis' reputation would all be different.

But, even still, Lazaridis deserves enormous respect for what he did and what he's still doing. I love entrepreneurs who take a risk and build something.

There's no one cheering them on when they decide to try something new. Society pats people on the back for making safe choices. For 10 years, the wise VCs wouldn't even deign to meet this guy. He might as well have been building his company in Antarctica. Yet, he changed the world.

After about 30 years at RIM, Lazaridis has decided to exit and focus all his time on quantum computing. You would have to say there's no one in the world who's making a bigger bet on quantum computing personally than Mike Lazaridis.

He lights up talking about it. He truly believes the effect of quantum computing over the next couple of decades will be bigger than even the silicon revolution. He hopes Canada will play a central place in that revolution as it sat out the silicon revolution entirely.

I have huge respect for Mike Lazaridis' impact on the world through RIM and the remaining chapters to be written in his career through the exciting new bet he's making in quantum computing.

Any entrepreneur should study his life to inspire their own choices.

At the time of publication, Jackson was long BBRY and AAPL.

Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.

Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.

He was previously Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies, a software firm now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. In 2004, Jackson founded the Young Patrons' Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which is now the second-largest social and philanthropic group of its kind in North America, raising $500,000 annually for the museum. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericjackson or @ericjackson.

You can contact Eric by emailing him at eric.jackson@thestreet.com.

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