Today, Monday, July 25th, 2011, Rim announced that they would be laying off approximately 2,000 people or 11% of their workforce. The layoffs come just after RIM missed its adjusted profit forecasts and reduced its financial predictions for the year.
As a proud Canadian, I hate to see RIM go through this process but let’s hope they can recover from the onslaught from competitors link the iPhone or Android.
When RIM launched the Playbook earlier this year, I was concerned that if the new tablet wasn’t received well, it would indicate that the business was out of touch with the world market and the repercussions could be terminal.
I see a similar pattern with a lot of Canadian companies. They produce products and services for the Canadian market just as they always have without considering the effect of competitors and outliers in their field. Large Canadian companies have always enjoyed a near monopolistic control of their individual markets. They are working in our own little Canadian bubble with a lack of concern for the big picture.
You can’t do that with Internet marketing and expect to be around for long. We often travel to trade shows in the US like MOZCON or Pubcon to get an understanding of what our competitors south of the border are up to. We usually come home with at least one important takeaway but the most important nugget we take back is the fierce competitiveness for even the most generic keyword terms.
We could come home and do just enough to help our clients rank for their keyword terms but that is not what we are about. We spend a lot of time and effort to ensure that we are up to date with the latest tactics not just in Canada but also in the US where the big boys play. That way, we don’t get caught when Google launches its Panda update or their +1 social media platform.
The RIM predicament is a good warning to all of us. Make sure you re not living in our Canadian bubble. Listen to your customers and be aware of not just your current competition but also those that might be your future competition.