I guess you’re right. Also, in hindsight (being 20/20 and all) it’s easier to judge and it mostly boils down to perspective.

I would still draw the bottom line even considering BB’s experiment with streaming. I’m going to throw just being aware of something down the same well as ignoring. Unless you’re bringing to market, it’s the exact same effect.

Nokia, Alcatel and Microsoft toyed with touchscreen ‘smartphones’ before the era of powerful but small mobile CPUs (and polished touch hardware) but dropped it for a long time with the message being that they failed to recognize the potential in the market (“yeah, it’s nice, but we don’t see how to make money out of it”).

I’ll also say that the “myth” framing is also wrong. BB didn’t fail to see the Netflix threat. In fact, I’d go beyond that and say that there’s no ‘threat’. There’s an idea, a potential, that someone else chooses to bring to fruition.

The fault still stays with BB. Failing to see the potential. Failing to adapt (sorry, even in 2007, presenting your physical business in a thin online wrapper is what companies started to do in 2000). Failing to bring something new. It’s complacency.

“ Antioco was a manager at the behest of a corporate raider.” — it’s a reason, sure, which only underlines the problem. Antioco followed a corporate raider which will never bode well for staying in business in the long run. He came in to make money for the shareholders without making them nervous.

He did what he was supposed to do for as long as he could, in the best way he knew how. BB was never a tech company. Ironically, I would also say that when Antioco called Netflix a niche company he was projecting something about BB. With an unchanging business model that grew into a sweaty T-Rex eating up small companies, BB is the one that became the niche.

Yes, there’s more to the story but the bottom line remains the same. BB didn’t want to adapt. They toyed with ideas, dipped their toes and refused to go in.


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