LinkedIn for Blackberry: Get It Now

I know this is my personal blog, but sometimes launches are big enough that I feel compelled to announce them here as well.

LinkedIn Blog: LinkedIn for Blackberry: Anytime, Anywhere

You can download it at http://www.linkedin.com/blackberry

Twitter is on fire with the news right – I’m watching the stream of comments in realtime.  Great pieces on TechCrunch & Mashable already.  As usual, the team seems to find it amusing to use my profile in all the screenshots, so I guess that is some measure of fame.

The best part of this launch is that it’s just the beginning of our efforts on the Blackberry platform.  I’m very proud of the entire team for pulling together to make this first launch successful.  Special kudos to Chad Whitney on his first major launch and blog post – he even got a new profile photo for the occassion.  Chad joined my team in December 2009, and has already made a phenomenal impact on our mobile products.

Goodbye, Blackberry. Hello, iPhone.

I’ve now had an iPhone 3G for 48 hours, and it’s like I’m seeing in color for the first time.

Seriously, it’s that delightful.  Oh sure, there are small nits here and there.  I’m still getting up-to-speed on typing, and figuring out which apps are useful.

But the first 48 hours of the iPhone 3G has been one user delight after the other.  Love the App Store.  Love the built in applications.  Love the feel of the phone.  Love the simplicity of synching.  Love the Exchange integration (LinkedIn has enabled it as a beta internally).

Delightful.  That’s the word.  Delightful.

As for you, Blackberry, I’m feeling the same way I did about seven years ago when I got rid of my Palm and moved to you.  At the time, there were more apps for the Palm, but the push messaging and calendar integration of the Blackberry were game-changers.  I knew then that the Blackberry would be the platform to beat in the PDA/Smartphone arena, and that was right for at least half a decade.

The fact that at just 1 year old, the iPhone platform is clearly superior to the Blackberry in 80% of its functions is disastrous for Research in Motion (RIMM).  The pace of innovation at RIMM does not seem as fast as Apple’s, and you can’t argue that RIMM has better people, more resources, or better assets to work with than Apple.

At this point, to be a Blackberry believer long term, you have to really bank that their current entrenchment with IT shops in the Global 2000 will dominate indefinitely.  But 1 million iPhones in 3 days?  This doesn’t bode well for RIMM’s growth rate in 2012.

I don’t think people realize how bad the Blackberry has become.  Sure, the messaging is still fantastic, with great features for expert users.  But the web browsing is worse than a 1995 PC.  The address book still doesn’t synch right between corporate & personal accounts.  And has anyone gotten the calendar synching to actually delete duplicate entries correctly with Exchange?  Don’t even get me started on the lack of functional Mac support.  Just last week, my Blackberry torched the 2GB MicroSD card in it.  That’s right, unreadable.  Photos lost.  No recovery.

See this blog post for an example.  18 months later and a post on how to work around terrible Mac support for the Blackberry Pearl is still a top 20 post for me… and people still can’t get it to work!

I think RIMM went after growth and market share in the consumer market, and forgot to delight their active customer base and keep ahead of the industry.

Look, I don’t pretend to be a futurist.  There are still people who swear by the Treo.  That’s fine.  I’m just one customer.

But I got my wife an iPhone 1.0 8 months ago to replace her Blackberry Pearl because I was sick of trying to fix synching problems.  Not a complaint since.

This weekend, I helped my Mom move from a full-size Blackberry to an iPhone 3G.  So far, so good.

I’d say at least 15-20 people at my company have moved to the iPhone, and they all seem extremely happy with it.  They are comparing apps, sharing tips & tricks, resolving issues, and most importantly, they are enjoying their mobile platform.

I now also have an iPhone 3G, and I’m just loving it.  It’s the first mobile device that actually frees me from my laptop almost completely.  The Exchange email integration works better than I expected.  The ability to read attachments like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF is unbelievable.  The photo application replaces a wallet of “kid/family photos”, the web browser is excellent, and the 3rd party apps are impressive.  And I know it’s only going to get better over the next few years.  I’m even thinking about writing an app or two myself.

I’m never going back.  My string of 3 Blackberry models is at an end, just like the 2 Palm Pilots, and the Newton Messagepad 2000 before it.

I’m all about the iPhone now.  The Blackberry is dead to me.