Biographical Information and Company Founded
Mihal Lazaridis famously known as Mike Lazaridis is a Canadian entrepreneur born on March 14, 1961. He is credited for co-founding Blackberry, the company that makes the Blackberry smartphones and other wireless handheld devices. Lazaridis was born in Turkey to Greek parents. The family moved to Canada in 1966 when young Lazaridis was just five years old. In 1984, Lazaridis was awarded a contract by General Motors to develop a network computer control system after he sends his proposal. It was in this same year that he was slated to graduate. However, he dropped out of the University of Waterloo where he was studying electrical engineering with an option in computer science just two months before the graduation date (McQueen, 2010).
Company Start and Industry of Operation
The contract from General Motors coupled with a loan from his parents and a small government grant led to the formation and launch of the company Research in Motion (RIM) after putting together the available resources and the determination of his friends; Douglas Freign and Mike Barnstijn. The company operates in the telecommunication equipment industry (McQueen, 2010). The company developed barcode technology that would be used in film and made a considerable amount of profits that was plowed backed into the business to facilitate the research in wireless data transmission. This led to the development of the famous Blackberry mobile phones.
Challenges and Industry Impact
The company experienced exponential growth in the 1990s that saw the creation of products that would compete on the global scene with other large playerS such as Apple and Samsung. Research in Motion faced challenges primarily due to bad contracts and negotiations that surrounded the contracts. At the time, Mr. Lazaridis had seen numerous companies that came before his because the founders were focused on doing everything in the organization from innovation to management. This observation created a determination in him not let his company suffer the same and made a decision to look for someone to run the business end of the company while he focused on his expertise, engineering. The company is credited with coming up with innovative products such as the BlackBerry Storm, its first touchscreen phone that it intended to compete with Apple's iPhone (McNish & Silcoff, 2015). This, however, did not work very well for the company with the product receiving generally poor customer reviews. Despite the negative response the company continued to grow worldwide and as of December 2012 the company had well over 70 million blackberry users. The company has made numerous attempts to upgrade its operating system that exists on the Java platform.
One of the most important lesseons I have learned from Mr. Lazaridis story is his determination to make his company succeed and not go under like many other technology companies before. He quickly accepted the fact that his expertise was in engineering, and he needed to appoint someone to run the business operation at RIM. This is the kind of determination and ability to accept the reality that I want in my life.
McNish, J. & Silcoff, S. (2015). The Inside Story of How the iPhone Crippled BlackBerry. Retrieved 16th Jan 2016 from http://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-the-rise-and-fall-of-blackberry-1432311912
McQueen, R. (2010). BlackBerry: The Inside Story of Research in Motion. Toronto: Key Porter Books.