Over the last few years, I’ve repeatedly called RIMM dead, I’ve said over and over that Dell’s brand and business are ruined (see Good Morning America’s Bianna Golodryga interviewing me in this clip when she was still an assistant for CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo), and I’ve cited how the only way to get value of Hewlett-Packard these days is for the company to break itself up.
Let’s Flip It! Here is how each of these companies could drastically change their strategies and business models to get back in the game of growth.
Rimm — Rimm needs to immediately open up its Blackberry email solution to every platform and see if it can somehow get back to being a de facto standard of email solutions. The company needs to bring in partners for its new operating system, a la Windows and Android to see if someone else can have any luck building a hardware device that’s decent. Rimm’s got two platforms to build on: their email platform and their operating system platform and if they don’t immediately stem the marketshare loss of their two platforms, they are truly doomed.
Dell – Why doesn’t Dell use the exact same model for smartphones that they so successfully pioneered for the personal computer — customization? Wouldn’t it be great to call the Dell 800 # or to be able to go to Dell.com and specify to your needs which operating system, how fast a processor, how much memory, what apps and even a customized size and feel for the hardware from a selection of form factors you want? I want a souped up, top of the line Android and my head analyst might want a basic Windows phone with extra memory. Come on, Dell, what’s the wait? This is what you do!
HPQ – First, split the company into consumer and enterprise and fully break the companies apart. Then, in the consumer division, your software solutions could become a platform of their own — HPQ hardware could work across any operating system, to seamlessly tie your Android smartphone with your iPad with your xBox and Windows PC. The HP consumer platform is a platform of a platforms, so build on that. In the enterprise division, quit trying to be IBM-lite and buy Fusion-IO (I own Fusion-IO but not because I think they’ll be taken over, though they could be) and then make your servers/storage solutions the very best cutting edge solutions as the de facto standard of flash-driven servers and storage and never look back til you’ve got 50% of the server and storage markets in 2020.
Unfortunately, I don’t expect any of these companies to do anything this drastic to save their businesses. So each of them will continue to flounder in its own way for the foreseeable future. Thus, I stick with the companies that are laser-focused on growing platforms such as Apple, Google, Fusion-IO, Amazon, Baidu, etc.