The interface is where the value is


One of the main reasons why BlackBerry completely lost its way and its 40% share of the smartphone market in the world (yes, da world) is this: it never became the interface to something important.

(Its current CEO still doesn’t get that.)

Apple and Google phones are interfaces for things people care about. Think: music, games, movies, medical advice… the list goes on. Daily.

Apple and Google phones are self-repairing, growing, and constantly evolving interfaces. This is another reason why folks are drawn to them from the moment they wake up.

(A fun tangent: For so many years, iTunes alone accounted for virtually the majority of the profit made in the entire music industry by being the interface between the hard work of making tunes and folks like you.)

Was Blackberry a self-repairing, growing, and constantly evolving interface? Not so much. It’s fair to say that the idea really never had any presence in their ecosystem.

And that’s why Blackberry is now a has-been.

Takeaway for you: The value is in the interface.

Uber, the most valuable taxi company in the world, owns no traditional cabs. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no hotels.

“How do you define an interface?”

Great question.

The short answer: An interface is an enabler and experience sharer. It’s there when folks need it to simply help them be more than they really are.

p.s. Being an interface is not confined to the digital world. Rolex, a Swiss luxury watchmaking manufacturer, is an interface.

“But, there are many good luxury watchmakers out there,” you might say.


For most people on Earth, however, only Rolex = an unmistakable authentication of the owner’s success and status.

Oct 1, 2016