Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Sales success missing from inventors' repertoire

It must be terribly disheartening to be the inventor of a piece of technology that truly changes the way we live.

It must be terribly disheartening to be the inventor of a piece of technology that truly changes the way we live.

Look at Research in Motion (RIM). The Canadian technological wizards invented the BlackBerry, a device that revolutionised the way mankind communicates and at the same time enabled an evolutionary leap by creating an entirely new use for the thumbs.

BlackBerry was once synonymous with palmtop wireless email and messaging communication. Not so today. Its crown has slipped and Samsung is the biggest brand on the shelf, while Apple's iPhone is perhaps the most desirable.

Neither Apple nor Samsung has truly invented anything, however. They are both preeminent redesigners and marketers of existing technology. Apple for the high-end customer, Samsung for the broader mass market.

RIM, which has suffered an epic decline in the past year or so, has everything pinned on the launch of its latest device, the BB10, which is available in the UAE today. But beating the competition will not be easy. In fact it is probably an impossible task if BlackBerry's technologically pioneering forebears are anything to go by.

Take John Logie Baird. He invented television in the 1920s but now Samsung sells more than a quarter of all the sets on Earth. His namesake Baird company barely registers a blip.

Kodak, the inventor of Kodachrome photographic film and the portable camera, collapsed into bankruptcy after its initial failure to jump aboard the digital boom. Hoover, a name once synonymous with vacuum cleaning that transformed the lives of housewives in the early 20th century, no longer exists as a stand-alone company and has lost out to usurpers such as Dyson in the vernacular dictionary.

In the technology market it seems you can either be a successful inventor or a successful salesman. Nailing both jobs with the same device has proven elusive even to the biggest brainboxes. Just ask Sir Clive Sinclair.

 

jdoran@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National