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Research In Motion’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis had some questions for a New York Times reporter:”Why is it that people don’t appreciate our profits? Why is it that people don’t appreciate our growth? Why is it that people don’t appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don’t appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages? …
“I don’t fully understand why there’s this negative sentiment, and I just don’t have the time to battle it. Because in the end, what I’ve learned is you’ve just got to prove it over and over and over.”
He’s sick of being beaten down in the press and by Wall Street even though his company is delivering solid earnings reports.
It reminds us of Microsoft whose stock has been flat for a decade. Whenever we ask people at Microsoft about the stock sitting still, and the beating it takes in the press, they generally say something like what Laziridis said. Something along the lines of, “We’re delivering results, we can’t control the market.”
At least with Microsoft we haven’t seen a noticeable decline in market share of the PC business. It’s just the threat of a collapse of the PC business as mobile computing proliferates.
With RIM it’s the fact that its marketshare is collapsing in smartphones. Everyone sees it, and that’s why it’s being beaten down.
Its co-CEOs know it though, no matter how hard they try to talk about earnings results. And they know the transition to a new operating system, and potentially to new markets is not going to be easy:
“No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform,” [RIM’s other co-CEO Jim Balsillie] said in an interview. “It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realise. This transition is where tech companies go to die.”