“To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” - Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I
Having lost Nortel, Canada should be asking how it could ever have happened that the north star of the internet boom could have fallen from grace so quickly and so decisively. It is particularly puzzling as its major rivals have continued to thrive. Sure, Cisco has never quite regained the lofty heights it reached during the boom, but it is still a profitable and growing $100 billion company. Huawei, Nortel’s Chinese rival has grown several fold since Nortel folded.
Research in Motion is now teetering, having been outdone by Apple. When it first came out, RIM’s executives considered the iPhone a niche toy that would never succeed in the business markets that RIM considered its privileged turf, and which it so thoroughly dominated. Not so smug now.
To lose one national champion in the telecoms space may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.