I discussed earlier whether Nokia can avoid Kodak’s path, yet it seems that RIM, the maker of BlackBerry, is also in the same path. I noted that Kodak faced irrelevancy by missing the digital wave, and recently filled for bankruptcy protection. I concluded that Nokia can avoid that fate by reinventing its market, not by following its perceived rules. That claim can also be applied to RIM. The company is also taking actions to reinvent its market following poor performance in the US.
According to Marketing Week:
The US was RIM’s biggest market in 2009, when the company had a 44% share of all the smartphones sold in the territory. This has since slumped to just 10% in 2011
In consequence, RIM has decided to make changes in Top Management. A new CEO will lead the company during these turbulent times, as the founder recedes. Unfortunately, leaders tend to copy each other. Following might be fine in more stable markets, but if the leading actor can loose 30 points of market share in 2 years, it is evident that in mobile devices leaders need to be also prime movers.
In the market of highly advanced mobile devices, leaders should also be prime movers. According to Richard Normann (2000), Prime movers are actors driven by visions of a redefined business landscape. They will not follow market rules, but actually shape markets. Their critical competence is in the combination of envisioning the future market, and leveraging other actors to co-produce their vision. The key concept is to understand and re-design a value-creating system as a way to escape the trap of becoming a commodity. Could Nokia and RIM regain their position as Prime movers?