Following last week’s Fortune Brainstorm event in Pasadena, CA, I got into an interesting 10-minute convo with a RIM executive. What were the topics of discussion? Apps, TelCo Reliability, iPhone and Hardware. This executive had the following to say: (this was not to be shared, but after numerous failed attempts to continue a conversation via email, I decided to post the main points of the convo. I will at least honor his anonymity)
While RIM has been trying to find a way to stay competitive, he admitted that Blackberry App World has not been a rocketing success in terms of app volume and developer popularity. “It’s tough when you are going up against a company operating one platform and perfecting a single piece of hardware”.
RIM is fortunate to have so many solid relationships with the best Telcos globally. “It’s been a strong advantage in the market, especially the US, to offer devices across more than just one network”. When I asked him about AT&T, he said that it hasn’t been near the nightmare for them that Apple has seen with the iPhone/AT&T.
iPhone is a great phone, but he thinks Blackberry will continue to have strong growth. “They’re different phones”. He specifically pointed out the heavy adoption rates for 18-25-year-olds this past year. “All of their friends are on BBM, and it’s addicting”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. In Los Angeles, I am still heavily outnumbered in my group of friends and 95% of them say they will never give up their Blackberry because of all their friends on BBM (Blackberry Messenger).
This is where things got interesting. I asked him what RIM planned to do if the iPhone were to have upgraded their hardware to include a front-facing camera. His response was “as I said before, we are fortunate to have our relationships with many different carriers, some of which can handle something like live video-conferencing”. In other words, he and his team weren’t worried about the iPhone launching front-facing video-chat so long as they are with AT&T. The last thing he said to me was “video conferencing is something that could completely change the mobile landscape and it is something we have been thinking about and working on for quite some time. You will start seeing something early next year”.
Billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, is an extremely intelligent individual and a savvy investor. Believe it or not, in his busy schedule he still finds time to read all of his emails. In his own words, here are the 10 rules Mark suggests you follow when emailing him about investing in your company.
- Email Mark Cuban at Mark@hd.net or email@example.com
- Explain your business in 3 short paragraphs or less
- Say why your business is a real business that can make money.
- Describe how you met the people you founded the company with and what your skill sets are briefly.
- Tell Mark why he or his money would add value to the company.
- Include a link to your website.
- Don’t ask him to sign an NDA. Let him understand the business. He is a savvy billionaire who does not need to steal your idea.
- Don’t try to arrange a phone call or a meeting. Most of the companies Mark invests in, he does not talk to on the phone or ever see in person before investing.
- Do not email him more than once. Mark respond to about 5% of the pitches since he only likes about 5% of what he sees.
- Wait about 10 minutes and if he loves it, he will write you back shortly to get more info.
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