I think as a society we focus too much on the negative and not enough on the positive. This applies to BlackBerry too. We are all too eager to jump all over the company for a perceived misstep but rarely do we stand back and thank the company and their employees for all of their hard work and dedication to the principles that make BlackBerry the great company that it is.
Today BlackBerry rolled out Channels for BlackBerry Messenger. BlackBerry could have done what other companies have done and said “screw legacy users, if they want Channels, they should upgrade to a newer device”. The fact that they didn’t says a lot about the corporate culture at BlackBerry. Instead of releasing Channels for the new, flashy BB10 operating system and leaving legacy device users hanging, BlackBerry employees working on channels worked long days, nights, and even weekends in order to roll out Channels to everyone at the same time. To me that says that BlackBerry values all of its customers and wants to bring them all the best experience. Yes there was an error in the app world description of channels where it said that OS 10.2 (which at this time is still unavailable from US carriers) was required to load the Channels instead of requiring BBM 10.2. To their credit, within 20 minutes of learning of the problem, the problem was fixed. No company is perfect, mistakes will be made, but the speed with which the mistake was corrected shows that Blackberry cares about their customers. Would BlackBerry like everyone to upgrade to the newest devices? Of course they would. (If you’re reading this and are on the fence about upgrading to BlackBerry 10 – do it! It’s an amazing operating system with both touchscreen and keyboard models.) But BlackBerry also respects their customer base enough to realize that not everyone can afford to upgrade, and that even those who haven’t upgraded to a new device or operating system deserve the best possible mobile computing experience. For that I give a heartfelt thank you.
Thank you BlackBerry for caring about all of your customers and for providing user experience that shows that your customers are more than just faceless sources of revenue. The next time someone questions my loyalty to BlackBerry, I will direct them to this post.
P.S. If you’re an Android or iPhone user, you can still get the best messaging system on the planet by heading to bbm.com, Channels isn’t available for Android and iPhone yet but will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy the awesomeness that is BBM! (#BBM4All on Twitter).