The success of every business heavily relies on appropriate utilization of opportunities which are available at the given moment. There are several entrepreneurial approaches like observation of emergent trends, solution of existing problems in order to suit customers needs and creation of innovative products that enjoy considerable demand in the public (Cason, 2003; Carsrud & Brannback, 2007). These are the core activities. The companies can adopt one of these strategies or all of them simultaneously. We have chosen such organization as Research in Motion (RIM) that is famous for its smart phone BlackBerry because this firm effectively used all the resources, accessible to them at that point. The management of this enterprise identified the niche in the market and filled it, outpacing their major competitors. Currently, the company is believed to be one of the largest manufactures of smart-phones in North America and throughout the world, it sales rates grow on a regular basis; now they exceed more than twelve billion dollars (RIM, 2009). Yet, more than eight years ago, their performance was much more modest. So, it is necessary to discuss their development during recent decade.
In order to analyze its path to success, we should first analyze the situation in mobile technologies that emerged in late nineties. First, it should be pointed out that the idea of a phone that could offer advanced capabilities was not entirely revolutionary. Nokia and Sony Ericson attempted to develop and promote such devices more than four years before the release of BlackBerry (Sweeny, 2009). But, they were not optimized for the wireless email use. Most importantly, at that time the majority of people did not see the necessity for them. Only several years later, the importance of online interactions and electronic commerce became immense. The consumers needed a solution that could enable them to communicate via Internet without having to carry laptops. So, when BlackBerry was first put on sale in 2002, it immediately received almost universal acclaim (RIM, 2009). Judging from this evidence, we may say that RIM effectively took advantage of their chances.
We need to discuss the peculiarities of their products more closely. One of its major characteristics is multi-functionality. Certainly, BlackBerry is a mobile phone, first and foremost, but it also includes web-browsing, faxing, text messaging and other services (Sweeny, 2009, p 75). Multi-functionality of BlackBerry is not the only feature that allowed RIM to gain the palm of supremacy over other cell phone manufactures. In this case, we need to speak about the increased performance of this prototype, namely it could operate around the clock (Sweeny, 2009, p 75). This was of great importance for many people who had to work across borders and continents. Naturally, nowadays smart phones like BlackBerry no longer appear so original but in 2002 it was a significant breakthrough. To some degree, their first model, developed by Research in Motion, can be regarded as first adequate substitution to PC or laptop.
It should also be mentioned that the management of Research in Motion under the command of Mike Lazaridis convinced potential investors that their project could become a new stage in the development of mobile technologies (Sweeny, 2009, p 77). Their research was sponsored by both governmental and private organizations because the hypothetical profits could be astronomical. Overall, RIM lived up to their expectations. Nowadays, it appears to be almost self-evident that investors were willing to cooperate with RIM; everyone knows that BlackBerry is an inseparable part of our daily life but ten years ago very few could see the rationale for such device. This is one of the reasons why RIM had to start with rather tight budget, especially given the ambitious nature of their project. Yet, even despite this limitation, the firm succeeded in developing and marketing its invention.
Traditionally, it is believed that every company has to take in consideration such risk factors as the threat of substitute products, intensity of competition, the purchasing power of customers, low capabilities of suppliers (Carsrud & Brannback, 2007, p 156). This risk assessment model is commonly known as Porters Five Forces. In order to make any accomplishments, the management of the enterprise has to reduce these risks to a minimum. If we are speaking about RIM, we need to say that they avoided pitfalls mostly through meticulous timing. In other words, they chose the most suitable moment to place BlackBerry on the market. Provided that they had done a several years earlier, the result could have been different. Thus, it is quite possible to argue that mere spotting of opportunities is not sufficient it is also important to choose the right moment.
Again, we need to emphasize the idea that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, customers in Canada, the United States, and Western Europe required an alternative solution to traditional cell-phones, because their efficiency was unsatisfactory for many of them. To be more exact, they needed something more applicable to the demands of Internet users. Almost any firm, able to make such an offer to the public would inevitable enjoy enormous popularity. Fortunately for Research in Motion, they were the first to do it.
The possibility of substitute products practically did not pose any threat the outcome of their venture because BlackBerry was distinguishable among other cell-phones. The only danger was that other firms, specializing in mobile technologies, could offer similar products to the public. It should be noted that Apple, Microsoft, Nokia began to produce their smart-phones in years to come. Therefore, there is a very great likelihood that these companies could outrun RIM and the popularity of BlackBerry could be diminished. Therefore, the outcome of every venture may be affected by chance or something incontrollable. The main task of the management is to minimize this dependence on chance. Mike Lazaridis and his associates did everything within their power to do it.
The growth of RIM can also be explained by their effort to constantly improve their products. Numerous modifications have been made to the original prototype. In fact, nowadays BlackBerry reminds a portable and very small version of PC. Many of RIM smart phones can be connected to QWERTY keyboard (RIM, 2009). They enable to edit and save Word, Excel, or PDF files. At first glance, one may suggest that these capabilities are of no use in such a device because its screen is not very large. But we should take into account that under some circumstances even BlackBerry can be of immense assistance especially if a person has to operate within very strict deadlines. The thing is that while trying to modify initial model of Blackberry, RIM strives to make it suitable for various situations that may occur in the workplace or during business communications.
Apart from that, American customers immediately took interest in BlackBerry because this product represented the best price-quality ratio. Currently, the company strives to adjust their smart-phones to the needs of various populations. The price can range from three hundred to one thousand dollars. Such policy attracts people who want to purchase a smart-phone. Still, we have to acknowledge that clients choice is largely influenced by the image of this brand. The thing is that Blackberry is very seldom associated with its developer, Research in Motion. Ironically, many consumers do not even know which company created this device. This example shows that brand management can play crucial role in the development of any company.
This analysis demonstrates that the result of an entrepreneurial attempt can be shaped by such factors as 1) the quality of their product (its functionality, performance, originality), 2) the demand for their goods or services; 3) absence of competitors; 4) the time-efficiency of this firm; 4) interest of potential investors. The management of Research in Motion ensured sufficient support of the government and private organizations, which significantly accelerated the pace of production. The development of BlackBerry was based on thorough evaluations of clients needs. As a result, BlackBerry was both timely and innovative. Well-planned marketing campaign and close attention of mass media contributed to the continuous growth of this company. On the whole, Research in Motion exemplifies the best practices in entrepreneurship; it combines innovation and innovation with productivity. By establishing flexible polices, oriented toward people with different income level, RIM won the trust of many customers in North America, Europe and Asia.
Carsrud A. & Brannback M.(2007). Entrepreneurship Greenwood guides to business and economics. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Cason, M (2003). The entrepreneur: an economic theory. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Research in Motion. (2009) Official Website.Web.
Sweeny, A. (2009). BlackBerry Planet: The Story of Research in Motion and the Little Device That Took the World by Storm. New York: John Wiley and Sons.