Complicated is the new defective

The above thought is just one of the gems I found in Harry Beckwith’s new book titled Unthinking.
I was thinking about it yesterday as I was reading an article about Research in Motion (RIM).
The article was yet another attempt to explain why RIM is going through a painful transition right now.

In my opinion, RIM’s challenge with investors was best described in an article by the Business Week magazine last fall: How to sell the world on a single coherent message. (You can read it here.)
Here’s a little taste:

Jim Balsillie, the co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIMM) (RIM), has a different approach. When he came through New York on Sept. 24 to introduce the BlackBerry PlayBook, his company’s answer to the iPad, Balsillie wore a gray suit and a tie covered with ducks. Kicking off a visit to Bloomberg Businessweek, he said: “There’s tremendous turbulence in the ecosystem, of course, in mobility. And that’s sort of an obvious thing, but also there’s tremendous architectural contention at play. And so I’m going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We’ve taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It’s a causal difference, not just nuance. It’s not just a causal direction that I’m going to really articulate here—and feel free to go as deep as you want—it’s really as fundamental as causalness.”

Those words—brilliant, no doubt, if you could only figure out what they meant—illustrate the promise and peril of RIM.
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My 2¢: In his recent column for the Report on Business Magazine, Derek Decloet argued that RIM is fighting a war of perception and losing it. He pleaded with RIM to “Tell investors a story they can understand. That’s what Apple does.” (You can read the entire article here.)

Derek is correct: people are more open to ideas expressed through stories.
Investors are people too.
And what do people usually want?
People want simplicity. Complicated is the new defective.