Ina Fried

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RIM Gets Its “Peanut Butter Manifesto” as Employee Rails About Internal Woes

Back in 2006, then-Yahoo executive Brad Garlinghouse wrote the now infamous Peanut Butter Manifesto detailing the internal issues that ailed the company.

Now, Research In Motion is having its Skippy moment. An anonymous employee has written a scathing summation of all that ails the BlackBerry maker. The note, penned in the form of an open letter to the company’s co-chief executives, was posted earlier on Thursday on phone enthusiast site Boy Genius Report.

“I have lost confidence,” the letter begins. “While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone — the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.”

The letter, which colleague Drake Martinet is calling the “BlackBerry Jam Manifesto,” makes familiar criticisms of RIM: the company is behind on key projects, is focused on partners and carriers rather than consumers, has alienated developers, etc. But the letter does so with the power of someone who appears to know the company and the way it operates.

It’s not just a list of criticisms. The author offers specific advice, namely to focus on the end-user experience, kill extraneous projects and reach out to developers before it is too late.

The full letter is worth a read (especially if you are Jim Balsillie or Mike Lazaridis).

What will be interesting to see is if RIM responds any differently to the fact that insiders are now making the critiques that those outside Waterloo have been making for months.

A RIM representative was not immediately available for comment.

Update: RIM has posted a response on its Web site, noting that its management is “fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.”

The note then goes on to make the case that things are actually quite hunky-dory. “RIM recently confirmed that it is nearing the end of a major business and technology transition,” the company said. “Although this transition has taken longer than anticipated, there is much excitement and optimism within the company about the new products that are lined up for the coming months.”


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