In September of 2011, I sat down with the BlackBerry Developer Relations team, after being introduced as their new leader. I vividly remember telling the group that opportunities like BlackBerry 10 only come along rarely in a person’s career; that we were all going to work harder than we had ever worked before; that we were going to learn from each other; that it would be a roller coaster to get there; and that once BlackBerry 10 had launched, we would all look back on that experience as a “career defining moment”. They gave me their support and loyalty and we accomplished truly remarkable things in the two and half years until launch.

As you know, times and business circumstances change. Sometime between now and November 3 will be my last day at BlackBerry and QNX.

A number of folks have expressed regrets, or said they were sorry. No need. During my time at BlackBerry and QNX, we’ve achieved significant business results, built lasting friendships, created hundreds of fantastic memories, and learned lessons that we couldn’t have learned anywhere else. These are far more important to me than a pay check, and I look back on what the company and our teams accomplished over the last three years with pride.

How about growing from just 16,000 applications in BlackBerry World to 265,000 in two and half years? That’s a 1,650% improvement. To get there, we had to grow our developer base from 7,600 to over 70,000. We orchestrated programs in 44 countries, built three generations of dev-alpha handsets, and seeded over 40,000 devices in 18 months.

Or how about going from zero to launch with Project Ion, including recruiting a team of 8 people, in just 90 days? Nearly 1,000 companies signed up for early access to information on Project Ion as a result.

Numbers aside, my favorite part of the last three years has been the people I worked with.

  • During the BlackBerry 10 launch, my team of 200, the Global Alliances team, the BlackBerry App World team, the amazing engineering and sales teams, and our unflappable PR teams.
  • Of course, the tiny Project Ion team, plus all of the fantastic folks at QNX who welcomed me back for a third stint at the company and pitched in to help with the Project Ion launch and marketing afterward.
  • And how about the legions of BlackBerry fans and developers I’ve met? You know who you are… BlackBerry Hank, Morten, CrackBerry Kevin, Jerome… to name just a few. I met thousands of you over the last three years. It’s impossible to name all of you, but know that you made my work rewarding and memorable.

We worked hard, but we also played hard too. Whether it was recording goofy music videos, the “Leap of Faith” at the Stratosphere hotel, or eating roasted bugs to encourage developer teams to fix software bugs, there was always time for a few laughs on the way to achieving our goals.

So I leave with a light heart, and best wishes for today’s BlackBerry team. I know that turning BlackBerry’s business around will take heart, gumption, and hard work. I have faith that you will succeed, and I wish that you may look back on this period as one of your own “career defining moments”.

And just as I promised my team in September of 2011, you have individually and together — every one of you BlackBerry employees, BlackBerry developers, BlackBerry customers, and BlackBerry fans — given me the gift of three years of “career defining moments”.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for that.

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I just got the  following email from Morten Lindstrom — my friend who’s running a fundraiser to save his wife Nicole’s life.  She suffers from sickle cell anemia.  Anyway, long story short, he’s put together a raffle of a new BlackBerry Passport for anyone making a donation of $20 or more. Details below…


 

A BIG Thank you, for helping with our fundraiser!

Here are some important information, and opportunities for you:

With all your help, we have managed to get access to better medication, that has given us some more time, and we now have a good chance of reaching our goal and be able to get the proper treatment and care to save Nicole’s life before it is to late!

But not all is good.

Nicole had to do a immediate surgery the other day, which turned out to be unsuccessful. A next attempt will be done soon, but her body cannot handle it just yet. So time is ticking and running out.

As of today, we have managed to raise a total of $17.300, so the road ahead to $40.000 is shorter than before, but still have a distance left. And because of recent added problems she got, we might even have to reach more than the planned 40.000

With your help, we also have gotten a pretty good exposure, and 7100 has visited the fundraiser website, although – most only were curious and looking around, but a total of 261 donated before leaving the page.

RAFFLE!

In appreciation of all those who have donated, and to help drive our fundraiser, we have decided to do a raffle.

All donations of $20 or above, will be counted as a “ticket” in the draw, and you can have as many tickets as you want, by doing more donations.

The draw will be held as soon as the fundraiser reaches it target of $40.000

And the prize, will be a brand new unlocked BlackBerry Passport device, with free shipping!

As you might know, the Passport will be launched officially on September 24th, so we will have to wait until the device is available before being able to ship it.

If you already have donated, don’t worry, your donation (if $20 or more) will be part of the draw, but please feel free to get more tickets.

The winner will receive email to the same address used for the winning donation ticket.

About the donations done via PayPal, we have a minor challenge, that You might be able to help solve.

PayPal automatically have a “hold” on any funds for 30 days, before releasing and making available for transfer to our account. To avoid this, every payment must be marked as “Confirm Receipt”, (that is what PayPal told me it say). To do this, You must, After you do the payment, logg back in to your PayPal account, find the transaction, perhaps you must even click on it, and there should be an option to click to “Confirm”. When that is done, the funds would be released already after 30-60 minutes.

To make things even easier to donate, we have set up 2 Fundraiser sites, one that is preferred if you use PayPal, and one if you use normal Credit card.

The websites are:

http://www.youcaring.com/nlindstrom

http://fndr.se/NC4a

A good friend even wrote about our fundraiser in his blog:

http://www.saunderslog.com/2014/09/10/what-are-friends-for/

So please, if you can help us more, getting more exposure, or contributions, please see what you can do.

Humbly

Morten & Nicole

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What are friends for?

September 10, 2014

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” Franz Schubert, the composer, apparently wrote that. Three years ago I joined BlackBerry. Since that time I’ve connected with and befriended many of the BlackBerry community, especially the developer community. It’s a tight […]

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Next Up – The Internet of Things

January 26, 2014

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.  Dean Acheson, American Statesman. Last Thursday, news broke that I had accepted a new role as the Vice President of QNX Cloud, a new business at QNX (a BlackBerry subsidiary).  As an industry we’re closing in on connecting every phone on the planet — […]

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BlackBerry 10 Jam rocked, because of you!

May 7, 2012

Last week was a whirlwind for BlackBerry developers.  BlackBerry 10 Jam was the official launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform to the developer community – SDK’s, tools, and of course the BlackBerry 10 Alpha device. This was a moment we’d been working toward since before DevCon Americas in the fall.  I know there was a […]

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It’s time to hang up the spurs, Alex.

April 17, 2012

Last Friday, YouMail released their latest visual voice mail client for BlackBerry.  At the same time, they put up a blog post telling the world that this was end of the line for the BlackBerry customers – no new work would be done on BlackBerry. I thought it a little bizarre.  As publicity stunts go, […]

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Chatting with @Scobleizer about RIM

February 17, 2012

“So, did you see what I wrote?”, he asked? And that’s how my conversation with @scobleizer started.  I had dropped him a note a couple of weeks ago when our Alex Kinsella and he were having a little dust up on twitter, and suggested we grab some time.  Today was the day. “Yes, I saw […]

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Try Something New Today!

January 9, 2012
Thumbnail image for Try Something New Today!

I’m in Las Vegas for CES.  I’ve been coming here for industry events for 25 years now.  Yesterday, however, I did something I had never done in all that time.  I rented a car, and drove out of the city to see what else Nevada had to offer besides gambling, hotels, and shows. An hours […]

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Five Killer Travel Apps for BlackBerry Users

January 7, 2012
Thumbnail image for Five Killer Travel Apps for BlackBerry Users

Anyone who follows my 4Square updates on Twitter will know that I travel a lot.  This week it was a quick jaunt to Waterloo.  Next week, I’ll be in Las Vegas for CES 2012.  In February I’ll be at BlackBerry DevCon Europe in Amsterdam, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  And in March, I’ll be taking […]

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Happy New Year!

January 6, 2012

It’s been kind of a crazy 2011.  As a result of that, this space has been neglected.  Truth be told, it hasn’t been just due to being busy, though.  It has also been due to figuring out the relationship of Saunderslog.com to my new role at RIM. Last week, Andy Abramson wrote that there used […]

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