Posts Tagged ‘business’

Dear RIM,

(I hope you will receive this message via social media, since the decision you’re making has important consequences for your customers).

I’m speaking for myself and, to some extent, for all RIM customers. (Naturally, I encourage other customers to voice their own views.)

First, I want to thank you for the work you’ve done to date. I’ve been a loyal RIM customer and a brand ambassador when given the opportunity. Over the past two years, however, I’ve thought many times about switching to an iPhone or another competitor’s device.

While I continue to be happy with some of the features that sold me on you in the first place: amazing email functionality, superior security and your keyboard (I have a Bold 9900, and dig the device), I believe it’s high time RIM provides its customers some new reasons to remain loyal.

There was a great article in the NYT this weekend on Apple’s manufacturing which demonstrated the incredible emphasis Apple has on anticipating consumers’ needs during product development. It would be impossible for an Apple customer to read the article and not feel that Apple cares deeply about their product experience, considering even how their phone’s going to fare when placed in their pocket next to their housekeys. It’s a good read on American manufacturing that also touches on margins, work ethics and more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

I don’t have any special knowledge of RIM’s product development methodology and so can’t make a comparison. If RIM is working in similar fashion to Apple, planning a future with its customers based on their needs, I’d be glad to know about it. The way I see it, RIM and I are and have been in a relationship. I suppose I’m asking what RIM’s commitment to me is and what it’s done for me lately.

Relationships involve getting better at what you’re already really good at, learning what the other person really wants from you and then working on being more of whatever that is. For RIM, this should involve embracing niche markets and developing more of what they want.

I’m not going to give a full list of what I need from RIM right now but there are undoubtedly areas for improvement that benefit us both. These have to include merchant abilities (possibly in the works), a secured merchant app so I can have outside sales reps for my software company accept payments. One new reason why this is important is that Square, one of the most popular services, isn’t available for Blackberry https://help.squareup.com/customer/portal/articles/140388-can-i-use-square-with-my-blackberry- This would really make us both happier. Mobile merchant services is not a bad look considering…

I feel we aren’t communicating well. Maybe you have plans I’m not aware of—things that would allow me to worry less and be more enthusiastic about our future. I know, financially, you’re stressed out right now. Frankly, it’s that way for a lot of companies, so know you’re not alone and you’re in a better place than many others, I’m here to support you for the long haul. However, you can’t ignore that I’ve made plenty of sacrifices to be in this relationship. It’s time for you to reciprocate by making some compromises of your own.

I think it would be cool to see you working on a highly publicized incubator to build enhancements to the Blackberry experience. Make it fun, challenging (independent of your existing culture) and really focus this on utilization of existing customers; score us and the ROI on each of us.

You can’t be everything to everyone, so prioritizing our relationship right now is pretty important. Think beyond startups. Look for mobile companies and software that will really benefit your customers and help them provide products to us (Right now, they’re almost all very focused on Apple IOS and Android, understandably so). When I say “highly publicized,” I don’t mean a reality show, I mean publicized on social media and communicated to me and my friends and then their friends…because that’s how it works. Think Kickstarter concepts for RIM (not literally); source the interest from me, don’t be afraid to ask. You haven’t asked about me in a long time.

Another idea, Vlingo! I used the Christmas credit you gave me (thank you!) so it was free. That was cool because I was already testing the free trial, is there a way to work more closely with them? Are you already doing that? They’re the same company as Siri, right, but I tested Siri and, well, Vlingo needs work but has potential. I would just be cautious on advertising it too soon, I think there’s a way to find out what help Vlingo may need, what challenges they have, and what it would take for Vlingo deliver the best version possible to Blackberry users and then make it happen!

Well RIM you know how to reach me…

Cheers –

Brian Rice

The honesty and open communication in G+ (from those I follow and that follow me) has been really exciting and inspiring. So I thought I would share a pretty honest story about my morning and the thoughts that came to me this morning as I really took in all the different posts and shares related to the death of Steve Jobs and my own perspective. As well as the song that came to me through this reflection.

“When you combine passion and hard work, then success is always possible.” – Arte Moreno

The loss of Mr. Jobs (a business soldier) hit us all differently and some the same, for me reflection came. I got home to my love last night telling me she is concerned with my work ethic and my health. Thank you B I love you with all my heart and am so grateful you love me and all my insanities.

I have lost friends damn near family large in part due to my work priorities and ethics and no matter why or who was “wrong” or “right” I still miss them, success and money does funny things to relationships sometimes evil whether it’s the gain of wealth and success or the loss of them. Just when you think you’re intentions are good that could only be your perspective.

I quote Jay-z “Everybody wanna know what my Achilles heel is, LOVE I don’t get enough of it”

I woke this morning remembering vividly my Mom’s face and tears when she saw at 17 what I was really selling to pay the mortgage cause dad left, I remembered my best friend’s face when I fired him after 20+ years in each other’s lives. He was right there to watch my Mom cry that day and a big part of the company doing really well during its first 10 years. Damn dude you broke my heart and I was so mad for so long but I hope wherever you are you and your family are doing well. Please respect the truth and find peace.

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.” – Larry Ellison

Music Inspires Me – I am 36 and grew up in NYC, I was a DJ in my teens (for weddings, bad bars (think Road House), bar mitzvahs) so I learned to love classical music, pop, rock, all genres but I am a big jazz, blues and hip hop fan. That said my thoughts this morning led me to “Lost Ones” by Jay-z a must listen on the way in I thought.

This entrepreneur thing is not so easy most of the times regardless what some believe but Jobs, Gates, Hughes, Simmons, Jay Z and so many more (imho) all are inspiration to keep fighting and to find the balance. They gave and give it everything they have, their hearts.

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”- Jeff Bezos

I was one of many that watched the Stanford speech and then I watched Jobs and Gates during their rare interviews together…Awesome stuff!

Young, dumb, and too proud I turned down 2 exits years ago…if I knew then what I know now well I would’ve sold and been grateful. Didn’t see 2008 coming!

So if when I didn’t accept terms I didn’t really say thank you…A.M.C. and CBC Thank You for your consideration at the time.I follow closely and congratulate all your accomplishments since.

I wish all of them and all of us perseverance and humbleness and success. The troopers that make many sacrifices, the entrepreneurs doing it with heart may we all get to our goals and enjoy our lives…that’s good energy.

The sacrifices, the hours, the heartbreaks, the challenges I wouldn’t have it any other way but the only cost should be time, capital, and yes emotional but not so much friends, family, loved ones, and health.

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” – Vince Lombardi

So again thank you to those that pave the way, that falter in the public eye for the sake of others to learn from their mistakes, that consider our futures as they innovate, that can affect so many from their own accomplishments, that are willing to give it all for the many rewards and challenges that come from success and sacrifice.

So to my Love, my Mom, to all my family, my friends that support me to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Howard Hughes, Eminem, Ray Charles, Shawn (Jay-z) Carter, +Larry Page , +Sergey Brin , +Mark Zuckerberg, the G+ers and so many more on my list that inspire, make me challenge myself, and work with heart Thank You.

Have a good day. – Brian

I wake up pretty early everyday (between 4:30 and 5:30) and I used to get a glass of water and start getting ready for work. For a few reasons I “jump into the day” but mainly because I wake with my mind already messing with me and reminding me how much I have to do each day (otherwise known as anxiety).

Also I like getting to the office before everybody to enjoy the silence and organize before the rush of tasks and issues begin.
I was never really crazy about coffee at home because I only knew how to make mud, however my love B she really looks forward to that morning cup of coffee and she also starts her day later than I do because she is better at “The Daily Practice” (by  +james altucher ) than I am.

She enjoys the morning, spends time with our dog Edgar, exercises, and works a bit from home. I am jealous when she tells me later in the evening about her mornings versus mine and she is actually so many times more efficient than I am through the day.

So my goals every morning were to be as quiet as possible and get ready in the dark as well as other parts of the house being as careful as possible not to wake B and Edgar. I thought this was a nice thing to do…

I work quite a bit and I usually think working super hard for about a year allows me to plan a small vacation with B and turn off the world for us but that year started becoming 2 years and the weekends started being work weekends as I took on building new software. So I thought plan bigger and then I can show B how much I love her with a longer vacation next time.

That’s man thinking big things to show big love!!!

So it turns out me sneaking out of the house in the morning was a big deal to B because I wasn’t even really saying good morning or spending just a few minutes with her before the day kicked in. So what I thought was showing love and care was actually showing signs that I wasn’t showing how much my love for her is a priority.

So I decided to learn how to make the greatest cup of coffee possible, adding spices and different creamers to create new flavors for us. Now I will not leave the house until I am ready, have made the coffee and spend some time with B sipping our coffee and either talking or just sitting in bed before I rush out the door.
Making a cup of coffee didn’t seem to be a sign of affection and priorities but as it turns out I was WRONG.

B loves the coffee I make and both our days start out better because of the coffee and those few extra minutes together. This went a long way and really helped me calm my anxieties before rushing off to the office or a meeting. But most importantly I left feeling really loved and appreciated…great way to feel starting a day I must tell you!

That’s woman thinking small things to show big love!!!

I really look forward each morning to perfecting that coffee and carrying it upstairs to B. I must say DD has nothing on my coffee now and my mornings are so pleasant they make my whole day better.

B is my love, my heart, and my best friend, or for music My Best Thing – Usher & Jay Z

Sometimes I really feel like I am losing my mind whether it’s based upon my decision making process, being locked away to long working on UEX or analytical media planning, or making the right decisions to grow my companies and my investments.

I doubt I am alone, in fact I know this as I have met with many patients and doctors as well I reference Eminem’s Talkin’ T Myself.

I have been “working” with frontal lobe damage since I was a teen, at times in my career since 18 I have thought wow this is the gift and the curse, and this is my uniqueness, my edge. Other times I felt the need to hide in my home or retreat to a far off place to hide from responsibilities I wasn’t at the times prepared for but was the most monumental to an entrepreneur. And at other times I hid from mirrors because I felt I lost touch with the me outside of my work. This I learned happens to quite a bit of business owners that started careers so young, never went to college, or had to help support a lot more than themselves either spiritually or financially.

Most importantly each time I hit the “edge” I found my real friends, the people that really cared, I hit goals I never dreamed possible for me, and I was able to seek advice from smart caring doctors (traditional and nontraditional) that made sure I knew I was not alone. Unfortunately some of those times I was to close to the “edge” and really needed to take a break for mental and physical health reasons.
Now at 36 and making major changes to my businesses and what I do for business I realize I am able to do more and help more largely due to the scary relationship between me and my brain. However there are so many days I need to remember I am not alone.

I have made it quite evident I am a hip hop fan since I was 10 years old (NYC baby) and Eminem is some music that also has really helped me realize I am not alone in these issues and yes they are issues that can be used for the greater good of myself and others. So I added a song I listen to often (especially on the drive into the office).

There is so much more behind all of the above but well the reason I am posting this is I met a new friend digitally and now outside of the digital space. He and his writings have helped me so much and meeting him happened honestly because of a conversation in G+.

It was awesome to know he was such a real person, his writings were sincere, honest, and his intentions are whole hearted. You know who you are sir…Thank you my man!

Beautiful life is around all of us and inside all of us finding it can be stressful, painful, and scary BUT each time we find that beauty we reach new levels of self that are so positive and so humbling.

Beauty can be and is defined differently by each of us but either way we define it NEVER stop seeking it out and attempting to create that Beauty!

I originally posted this on another blog on April 28, 2011, I believe right now Google + is in the top running for this title but it’s just too early to tell. But I will keep you posted and I recommend trying g+ if you haven’t already…it’s different.

It ALL starts with an idea…

Back in March, like most, I was constantly checking the news to read about the tsunami in Japan.  It is a tragic situation and a harsh reminder of the fragility of life.

Amidst the daily accounts of the increasing death toll, unaccounted persons list and the grave dangers of nuclear meltdown, a story ran about AFLAC terminating its relationship with Gilbert Gottfried based on tweets that he made regarding the disaster. I found it interesting that so much media attention was placed on this rather than the true tragedy at hand.  That being the case, I generated an idea for AFLAC and reached out to a friend who has had prior business dealings with them.

“Howard I have an idea for Aflac! Have you read the news about Gilbert    Gottfried?”

I went on to explain to Howard that I felt this was the perfect opportunity for AFLAC to have a contest to determine who should be the next voice of the AFLAC duck.  AFLAC, in my opinion, has always seemed to face challenges in the education of consumers of the wide scope of products AFLAC has to offer.  They are, undoubtedly, brilliant at clearly defining their brand but does the consumer truly know all of the products that they offer?  Here was an opportunity to take an idea and create a plan based upon consumer engagement allowing more focused messages to be sent to an audience.

The contest idea isn’t always the right idea or a good idea for a brand unless it is timed right, attached to the right content and goals, and has a plan for further engagement steps for the advertiser and the audience to enhance an existing relationship or start building a new one.

Who stole my idea? or Great Minds Like Alike
http://www.aflac.com/aboutaflac/pressroom/pressreleasestory.aspx?rid=1542460

Many great marketers think alike and, shortly after my call with Howard, AFLAC announced the contest to find the new voice of the AFLAC duck.  I had just formulated this concept and discussed it with Howard and the next thing I know the idea had already been hatched.   Unfortunately, we were beaten to the punch and did not get the opportunity to work on the concept.

I am not sure how AFLAC and their agency partners were gauging the metrics for the campaign but I did read that there were 12,500 people that sent in copy for the contest and I am sure millions of impressions across all media channels.  After all the creatives were evaluated a winner was named….

http://www.aflac.com/aboutaflac/pressroom/pressreleasestory.aspx?rid=1554587

It all starts with an ideafrom content, creative, audience, data, and off to planning the budget.

Present and future media is about being able to better understand and quantify an idea, its goals, and the possible results,  from that point it’s about taking that data and making it actionable so the life of the idea continues and morphs into new ideas. I

We have LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We have blogs.  We have so many communication tools and locations for everyone to have a voice and be heard. Whether someone is in an industry or just has an opinion or an idea our voices can be heard. But who is listening and are the right people listening at the right time?
I start my day early visiting my favorite blogs, reading the news, and relying on my Google Reader for new ideas. It would be great to have a place where the ideas can be placed in front of the right audience at the right time by the most likely and skilled people to the most unlikely, but interested, person or consumer.  In my opinion this is truly embracing “out of the box” strategy as well as entrepreneurial thinking for small businesses to the world’s largest brands.

Ingenuity, creativity and innovation are the prey in my daily hunt.  I share this constant yearning with many other like minded individuals and crave a place to consume and be fed this information based on my reading and searching habits.  Heck, Amazon and Netflix tell me what I would like as a consumer so why can’t their be a site to provoke and inspire creative thought for the sake of intellectual stimulation?

If such a place exists please let me know and I will apologize then for not being aware of this place I would like to go.  I may have just quoted the late Theodor Geisel but he surely would have been able to direct me.