Case Study. BlackBerry cell phones

Blackberry was designed and developed by RIM (Research in Motion) in 1999. The pioneer in bringing email services to handheld mobiles, BlackBerry became the favourite device of world leaders, businessmen, and celebrities. Owning a BlackBerry device was a status symbol. The company grew from 1999 to 2007 because the company's innovative product lines were well received.

The introduction of the touch-screen iPhone in 2007 triggered a dramatic shift away from Blackberry handheld devices, and Blackberry lost more than half of its market value in two years. In addition, Blackberry failed to anticipate the emergence of the "app economy," which led to massive adoption of iPhone and Android-based devices.

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Case Questions: Using the above information and the techniques you learned to come up with creative ideas, try to solve the problem faced by BlackBerry, in particular:

  1. Define the problem and formulate the goal.
  2. Use the design thinking framework to generate ideas to achieve previously formulated goal.
  3. Use brainstorming technique to discuss ideas resulted from previous step

Proposed solution

Problem: failure to anticipate market needs.

Main goal: to maintain position in the market.

Design thinking framework:

User focus - focus on users and on solutions that meet customer needs. Empathy, combined with a willingness to understand and consider the customer's needs, plays a critical role in developing customised solutions.

Problem Framing - question the traditional way of thinking about and solving problems. Keep questioning and reframing the problem to identify a larger problem and multiple alternative solutions (similar to six hats thinking - approach the problem from different angles). Failure is not seen as a bad thing, but on the contrary, an opportunity to learn.

Diversity - different ways of looking at a particular problem by combining different ideas from different people. This diversity can be achieved by having a diverse team with different personalities and skills.

Visualisation - makes ideas more tangible and allows one to understand abstract concepts and grasp all the facets hidden in the ambiguity of words alone.

List of possible activities:

  • Adopt and develop new touch screen technology;
  • Invest in innovation;
  • Market research on new trends in the market – customer needs and their changes;
  • Focus on the development of a user-friendly company-specific operating system;
  • ……..


Design Thinking