Friday, November 09, 2007

In the News: RiM and Recession

A couple of items in the press caught my eye today.

In the Globe, Eric Reguly files a fascinating piece on how RiM retooled to make the BlackBerry a hit in status-conscious Italy. RiM worked with local cell provider Telecom Italia Mobile to change the pricing (apparently, Italians prefer pay-as-you-go), and founder Mike Lazaridis himself called on Milan designers Dolce & Gabbana to ask them to design BlackBerry carrying cases.

It's a great example of the fundamental (and oft-forgotten) need to know your market and customize your pitch. And of the rewards that can accrue for doing so. Read the story here.

The Financial Post today runs a little Reuters item titled "No U.S. Recession: Bernanke", in which U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced yesterday that the U.S. economy "does not appear headed for recession." But he warned growth could prove weaker than expected.

The economy is fueled by confidence. My experience is that when the authorities start trying to reassure us that there is no recession, it doesn't really matter: things are slowing down regardless, and businesses have to be ready.

Trim your sails, hoard your cash. Avoid investments that rely on customers continuing to spend stupidly. Our economy has been defying gravity long enough.

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