The scene: Friday, 4 p.m., a darkened conference room in Research in Motion’s Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, VP Andrew Bocking, and RIM’s global head of PR are seated around a circular table, discussing the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10.
Heins: Guys, we need to do something. BlackBerry 10 comes out in a few months, and nobody’s excited about it.
Bocking: It’s so unfair. I mean, look at Apple getting all this good press. Look at Microsoft — Microsoft, for Christ’s sake! — getting good press.
PR Head: Well, let’s think about what Apple does. They announce new products at big, flashy —
Heins: Leaks! We need leaks!
PR Head: What do you mean, leaks?
Heins: You know how that Apple employee got drunk and left his iPhone 4 in a bar, and then Gizmodo paid for it and it got millions of people talking about how great it looked?
Bocking: Go on …
Heins: Well, what if we did something like that? “Forgot” a BlackBerry 10 in Waterloo somewhere where it could be found, and then had the tech blogs fight over who would get to post the first photos?
PR Head: I don’t know, sounds pretty risky to have an unreleased phone floating out there. Also, what tech blogger would ever go to Waterloo?
Heins: Good point, good point. So maybe we do it somewhere in America.
PR Head: And maybe, instead of dropping the phone in a bar, we have the two of you use pre-release BlackBerry 10s in a very conspicuous, photographer-filled public venue?
Heins: I like it!
PR Head: Are either of you scheduled to go to America before February?
[Heins and Bocking glance furtively at each other.]
Bocking: Well there is … this basketball game.
The scene: At this weekend’s Lakers/Rockets game.