Book Details

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Losing The Signal

The Spectacular Rise And Fall Of The Blackberr


Best Business Book (narrative) by Strategy + Business Magazine

Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

National Business Book Award

Wall Street Journal Best Business Book of the Year

Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year - Longlisted

Strategy + Business' Best Narrative Business Books of 2015

Selected for the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2015

Selected for Forbes' Best Business Books of 2015

Selected for the Financial Times' Best Books of 2015

Selected for CIO Magazine's 15 Best Books for IT Leaders

Selected for's 100 Best Business Books of 2015

National Business Book Award - Shortlisted

About the Book

Winner of the National Business Book Award and #1 National Bestseller

Losing the Signal is the riveting untold story of how BlackBerry engineered one of the most spectacular technological upsets of the twenty-first century before it lost its way in the fog of smartphone wars, management indecision, and the breakdown of one of the most successful partnerships in the history of Canadian business. Its rise and fall is a cautionary tale of the unrelenting speed of modern success and failure.

At the heart of the story are two mismatched co-CEOs—Mike Lazaridis, a bookish innovator, and Jim Balsillie, an aggressive entrepreneur—who grew their company from humble beginnings above a bagel store in Waterloo, Ontario. Harnessing innovation and sharp-elbowed tactics, BlackBerry’s bosses outsmarted powerful international competitors and built a global business in a little more than a decade with an addictive phone that changed the way we communicated. BlackBerry’s devices were so ubiquitous that even President Barack Obama favoured them above all others. Just as BlackBerry was emerging as the dominant global player, internal fault lines hobbled the company at the very moment its smartphone crown was challenged by stronger competitors: Apple, Google and Samsung. When the Canadian company finally made its move, it stumbled with delayed, poorly designed and unpopular handheld devices that took it out of the race. Only fifteen years after the BlackBerry was launched, the company is struggling to survive. Its share of the U.S. phone market fell from fifty per cent in 2009 to less than one percent by the end of 2014.

Written by veteran journalists Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, Losing the Signal is an enduring study of a technology that defined a generation, in a ferocious industry that leaves little margin for error.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Brilliantly relayed . . . It’s one helluva story.” —Toronto Star

“Losing the Signal is a good old-fashioned insider’s business narrative, the kind we don’t see enough of these days, and it should scare the pants off most CEOs.” —Wall Street Journal (Bryan Burroughs, author of Barbarians at the Gate)

“Reading the inside story of the BlackBerry’s helpless flameout is like watching any other train wreck: You’re horrified, but you can’t look away.” —David Pogue, author of Pogue's Basics and founder of

“A tale of rivalries, jealousies and missed opportunities. You won’t be able to put it down.” —William Cohan, author of House of Cards and Money and Power

“Losing the Signal tells of the marriage and divorce of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, how two opposites built RIM into a world-beater and how they lost it. This is first-class reporting that reads like a juicy novel, with one amazing story after another. A terrific book.” —Howard Green, author of Banking on America

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443436199
  • ISBN 10: 1443436194
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 04/05/2016
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD

Losing The Signal by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

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