The chatter is dying down now, replaced by the buzz of a big day ahead.
It goes without saying that tomorrow is a big day for Research In Motion, but it’s a big day for a lot of other people, too – smartphone users and gadget-loving geeks; shareholders, analysts and journalists; app developers and texting teenagers; neighbours, colleagues and friends.
After two years of turmoil, transition and talk, talk, talk, the wraps are finally coming off the all-new BlackBerry 10 – and by extension, off an all-new RIM.
We’re as excited as anyone to see the sleek hardware and full array of capabilities built into BB10. But we’re also proud to stand beside RIM as it climbs back into the ring to contend for its share of the smartphone market – a market we shouldn’t forget was essentially created by the company, right here in Waterloo Region.
In doing so, RIM claimed an important space on the global technology stage, a space hundreds of smaller Waterloo-grown companies can now see themselves occupying thanks to RIM’s willingness to think big.
Just as important, its contributions to this community – and indeed, the world – have extended far beyond the bounds of corporate self-interest, into realms such as pure science and international governance, thanks to the philanthropy of Mike Lazaridis, Jim Balsillie and the many others inspired by their example.
The past couple of years have no doubt been tough for the company, for RIM employees displaced by the necessary restructuring it undertook and for those they left to execute a complete platform rebuild under intense pressure from all sides.
But toughness is nothing new to global technology companies or the people who work for them, least of all those at RIM who have worked so hard to bring about what we’ll all get to see tomorrow: A smarter, faster, sharper handheld device than any available today.
When it comes to tech, the only givens are that markets are volatile, consumers are fickle, competition is relentless and innovation is constant. That’s what makes it so daunting – and so exciting.
Viewed through the prism of these truths, BB10 is by no means the end of anything for RIM, but the beginning of a pivotal chapter with a still-unwritten ending.
No one is more aware of these truths, or more determined to forge ahead in spite of them, than our friends at RIM.
And when tomorrow comes, no one will be more proud to stand beside RIM, and more excited to see how that next chapter unfolds, than we will.