RIM reigned at a time when your Blackberry came with everything you needed.
RIM is a perfect example of what can happen to a dominant company that doesn’t attempt to cannibalize their own successful products. RIM was perfectly content to continue selling you email-sending, hardware-keyboard phones as long as you kept buying them—they had no intention of changing that basic formula very much. Why ditch something so profitable?
A dominant product, which drives a company’s profitability and makes them very, very successful, can also quickly become the very thing which destroys the company. RIM was content to keep selling Blackberries, and so before January 2007, they never thought to consider long-run trends in the mobile industry, nor potential opportunities for them. They didn’t see that smartphones could become mobile computers, nor did they see advances in touchscreen technology, because if they recognized these opportunities, they would need to throw out their current business. And because they weren’t willing to take that risk, they are faltering now.
For a business to be successful in the long-term, they must show no devotion to their current products. They must be willing to throw them out at any moment and start over. Their eyes should not be focused on their current profitability; rather, they should be dead-set on where things are going in their industry, what opportunities there are for them as a result, and even how they can apply their core competencies to new areas.