Startup Next Door

I’m Your BlackBerry

April 19, 2010 by John Washam

I'm Your BlackBerry I'm a BlackBerry. I'm a phone now, but years ago I was nothing but a glorified pager. I'm all grown up now. I now can make calls, take pictures and video, and utilize GPS and wi-fi.

As a BlackBerry, I'm not as sexy as the iPhone. I don't have a philosophy that praises aesthetics, and I have way too many buttons compared to an iPhone.

My philosophy is "Let's get your sh** done". I'm not made to provide an experience. I'll help you send an email, listen to a podcast, and fetch updates from Twitter all at the same time, so that you can go have real experiences.

There are a lot of nice phones out there. There are shiny ones, glowy ones, and expensive ones. People will notice those. If we're working together at a coffee shop or on the bus, no one will find a reason to strike up a conversation about me. Perhaps they will if they already own a BlackBerry.

BlackBerry 8320

I'm Canadian. Research in Motion is my parent, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario. I'm not from Finland or Japan or California or anywhere exotic. But if we travel overseas together my SIM can switch seamlessly between 3G, CDMA and GSM/GPRS.

I've got a real keyboard. There's an alter ego of me that has a touchscreen, but a real keyboard is what I have. And there are spaces between the keys which cuts down on errors. A touchscreen is great for short email and Twitter, but a real keyboard lets you write blog posts and long emails, and you don't have to put a disclaimer in your email signature pardoning your misspellings. Once you practice a bit, you can text your friend without even looking at the keys.

You can load any app you want on me. Download an app from a mom & pop site, get a copy from a friend, or write your own. I'll run it. And I'll give you complete control to decide what access that app has. Yeah, I do Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pandora, Skype, RSS, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Voice, and can run other browsers like Opera, even though mine is already hot.

I'm very secure. I'm not worried about viruses, hacks, or any of that. I send email encrypted to the BlackBerry Internet or Enterprise Service, and then to you. Once locked, no one can break in and steal my information. If you decide to get rid of me some day, a few clicks and you can completely wipe my memory and then sell me on eBay.

You can load any music or video you want on me through a USB cable, increase my memory with a MicroSD card, use regular 3.5mm headphones, and you can replace the battery yourself for five bucks. I'm not picky.

I'll be your administrative assistant, your entertainment, and keep your secrets. And someday when you find a new hotter model, just export my system files, erase me, sell me, then import those files on your new BlackBerry and have everything just like it was before, but in a sexier, faster box.

Updated June 4, 2010: I switched to Android. Sorry, BlackBerry.

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