Showing posts from 2015

Thumbs up for RIM book "Losing the Signal"

A couple of weeks ago, I Tweeted some comments about the book Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff and wanted to have them in a more accessible form.

There's been a lot written about Losing the Signal and I won't duplicate what available elsewhere. I would definitely recommend the book. Whenever I read anything related to the Waterloo tech scene of the 1990s and 2000s, I expect to spend a lot of time rolling my eyes and muttering comments to myself, but that didn't happen here. (I have some minor quibbles, but you'll always have those.)

I followed RIM closely from about 1995 to 2010 and enjoyed that part of the book primarily for the retrospective quotes from people who were involved with the company—as insiders, partners, customers and others. And then I pretty much stopped following the company cold turkey in the fall of 2010, and continued to enjoy that part of the book for details I wasn't familiar w…

A lesson Adam Chowaniec helped me to learn

This was going to be a set of tweets, but ended up being a little long.

I'd been reading observations and recommendations from Adam Chowaniec for over ten years when he died a couple of weeks ago. He was one of the leading figures in the Ottawa tech community and had spoken at at least a couple of Communitech events over the years.

He was always worth hearing, and at the same time, would occasionally say things that made me think we lived in alternate universes.

It was an important lesson to learn. Tech communities—even in the same province—have different experiences and priorities. Chowaniec was very Ottawa, very telecom. Ottawa and Waterloo collaborate a lot, and aren't that far apart in distance, but are also very different.

You have to be cautious when drawing conclusions for the province or the country based on your one region. You can't avoid it—most of us live in one place, and that shapes our experiences—but you can watch out for your own overgeneralizations.

(At …