Honestly, I've lost track of how long I've been writing for eWEEK. It's been two years since I joined the team full time, but for years before that, I freelanced on and off for eWEEK. Sometimes, researching a story, I've pulled up an old article and been startled to see that I was the one who wrote it back in 2009 or 2010. So it's with a bit of melancholy that I tell you today is my last day.
It's been a good run, but the news beat is a tiring one, and I'm ready for change.
Still, even writing that, I feel how hard it will be to break some habits and turn my attention to something new. This is a fast-moving industry—far faster-moving than when I began covering it in 1999—and it's a weird sensation to set down threads I've been holding and following for so long, and that I'm genuinely curious about.
So, for this, my last article for eWEEK, I'm sharing the stories I'm most intrigued by and will be most sorry to leave in the middle of the plot line, as it were. But that I will, of course, keep following from the other side of journalism.
I love an underdog story, and I never count anyone out until they're dead and buried. I'm just too optimistic. (And look what happened to T-Mobile.) Dan Hesse, it always seemed to me, was a good man, and he did a good job for many years, but ultimately, this is a merciless industry and he had a lot stacked against him—more than he could move with the tiny roar he has in him. I can't wait to see what Marcelo Claure—a younger, and seemingly feistier CEO, packed with confidence from numerous personal and financial successes as a young businessman—can accomplish—especially since he has the ear, and delighted backing, of Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son.
Given my love of the underdog, this should be no surprise. My excitement about BlackBerry is really for CEO John Chen, who is smart and warm and open and absolutely delightful—in many ways, the anti-CEO. I would trust John Chen with any business matter—and not just because he's the spitting image of my husband's uncle—and I have every confidence that he's going to turn BlackBerry into a solid company. Not the old company, but more likely a niche player with a small but dedicated base.
I also won't be surprised if BlackBerry, in part through QNX, winds up being one of the major winners in the Internet of things (IoT) space. The more connected our lives are, the more critical security becomes, and everyone in the industry knows that BlackBerry does security best.
Chen has also put together an A-team of executives. Every time someone jokes (and it happens often) Oh, are those guys still around? I think: Just wait.
This couldn't be a more critical issue, or more representative of the times we're living in, and I feel personally grateful to John Oliver for the national act of service he performed in bringing such mainstream attention to it. ("Turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties!") The Internet is the great equalizer. We can't let the need to please shareholders turn it into the next socio-economic divide.
(If you somehow missed Oliver's plea to the monsters of the Internet, it's highly recommended viewing.)