Back to Basics | A Letter to John Chen, CEO of Blackberry

Raymond A. Guzman

It has been a while, but after a time of reflections, I am ready to hit the ground running once again with some new posts and announcements. The new theme of the hour is back to basics. With that being said, I would like to take a moment to write a letter to Blackberry’s CEO, John Chen, regarding the Blackberry Playbook, Blackberry’s only released tablet which may go down in history as the only tablet Blackberry has ever released. My letter is as follows…

John Chen, CEO of Blackberry,

Mr. Chen, I would like to take a moment to talk about Blackberry and in particular the Playbook. First off, it’s great to see you at the helm of Blackberry. Even in the short time that you have been there you have made significant strides in changing the tone at Blackberry and streamlining the efforts of the development team. I speak…

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The Top Five Problems of Microsoft’s Windows Phone

Raymond A. Guzman

In recent days, Microsoft has been in the news quite a bit. One might almost believe that a new found energy and innovative spirit are soon to make their way into the Windows landscape. Long-time CEO Steve Balmer has announced is impending resignation and Microsoft has announced it’s acquisition of Nokia’s Phone Division. This news comes trailing stories of the failure that the Windows Phone series has been. I’d like to take a moment to discuss what I see has the top five problems with the Windows Phone series that the new Microsoft CEO, in conjunction with Nokia’s talent, will have to tackle.

1. A Light App Store

Microsoft’s app store just simply doesn’t compete with that of iOS and Android. Microsoft has the same problem that Blackberry is facing. Developers just aren’t porting their applications over to the Windows Phone. We know that in the smartphone market applications are…

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A Post-Mortem for Blackberry

Raymond A. Guzman

The Past

A few years ago if you heard the word Blackberry you automatically associated it with professionalism and highly-polished smartphones. As far as messaging and e-mail were concerned, Blackberry did both best. The Blackberry was the corporate device that had a great deal of appeal to the general consumer base. It’s messaging capability made it very popular amongst the younger crowd. This was surely something that Blackberry (RIM at the time) did not foresee happening, but the truth is that the Blackberry was very popular with teenagers and young adults. Even to the present day, the Blackberry (the brand) is highly valued and respected, but has clearly fallen by the way side when compared to brands, such as Apple and Samsung.

The Present

It’s not news that Blackberry has been on the decline for a number of years now. Blackberry has already announced that it is up for sale…

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Top 5 Things I’ve Come to Realize About Blogging

Raymond A. Guzman

1. Give Your Readers Something with Every Post

The number one realization shouldn’t really be all that surprising. It’s sort of human history to be drawn to free things for one, but more than this if we draw something positive from a piece of writing then we’re much more likely to see it as having been of value. The key isn’t to always tailor your writing to your audience (unless your looking for max clickthroughs), but rather to make sure that there’s a message or a takeaway with every post. From a writer’s perspective, keeping your sight on this can also help to focus your writing and give it purpose. If you what you’ve written lacks a message, then why did you write it? It’s an obvious concept. Give your readers something to try, something to look into, a different way of thinking or anything that they can use to…

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The Value of Digitizing the Remaining Paper in Your Life

Raymond A. Guzman

Paper and Digitization

Over the last few months, I’ve discussed the value of paper solutions in the modern day (for example, in regards to the Hipster PDA) and I’ve extolled the value of digital solutions such as Evernote. The truth is I’ve noticed the a balance in productivity exists somewhere between the two. There are still a lot situations in which I prefer paper and pen, but I try to eliminate paper as much as possible in my daily life. It just makes it easier to deal with paper documents when you can search through them digitally rather than by hand. OCR (optical character recognition) technology has come a really long way and now it’s easier than ever to convert documents into a digital format that can be easily indexed and searched. It might take time, effort, and resources to digitize the remaining paper in your life, but it’s worth…

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Productivity, the Internet, and The External Brain

My post from my principal blog today. An introduction for the “External Brain.”

Raymond A. Guzman


Today, I’d like to take a moment to introduce my concept of the “External Brain.” It was an idea that I had developed a number of years ago, inspired by the Evernote application, which I solidified when I presented my presentation to the TEDxGeorgetown board in 2011. For a draft copy of my presentation use this link. Let’s start to break this down.


My Early Thoughts

In starting to formulate the concept behind the External Brain, I focused in on the topic of productivity and the Internet. For me, one of the biggest detriments to my productivity has always been the distraction offered by tasks which are important, but not urgent, or worse, urgent, but not important. What does this mean? Well, I’ve been a fan of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habit’s of Highly Effective People for a number of years. The book is as it’s titled, a description…

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The Future of 3D Printers: Parts/Components and Electronic Delivery

For me 3D printers are really going to be the future of spare parts/components and electronic delivery. Everyone’s probably heard of 3D printers as of recently because of the proliferation of blueprints for a 3D printed gun. The fact is that 3D printers have been around for quite some time now, but haven’t really made their way to homes because of high prices, a lack of demand, a lack of consumer grade option. It’s likely that this will start to change in the near future and where I really see the value of 3D printers is in spare parts. Let’s say for instance that you need a screw to a particular piece of furniture in your home. Imagine if you could go over to the manufacturer’s website and download the specs for a replacement screw, then print it out. I think this is immensely useful. Aside from this, I imagine that many products will be sold in the form of electronic delivery that once couldn’t be. Of course, we know that things such as tickets, have been sold electronically for years now, but this really takes it one step above and what it really means is almost instant delivery of a product through 3D printing. Now, of course, most of these 3D printers require some substantial time in order to complete a job, but with an increase in demand and efficiency time to completion is likely to decrease quite quickly as the years go by. There is definitely space in this emerging market for start-ups to capitalize on the market and technology enthusiasts demand.