FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Losing the Signal by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

Losing the Signal

There have been many books about the smartphone maker, but none of the authors has had the same level of access to Mr Lazaridis and Mr Balsillie as the duo behind Losing the Signal. Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, reporters at Canada’s Globe and Mail, have spent hours talking to the partnership behind BlackBerry, and it is what saves this book from being another dull corporate biography built from press cuttings and interviews with bit-part players. — Read the complete FT review


Losing the Signal is a riveting story of a company that toppled global giants before succumbing to the ruthlessly competitive forces of Silicon Valley. This is not a conventional tale of modern business failure by fraud and greed. The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway.

With unprecedented access to key players, senior executives, directors and competitors, Losing the Signal unveils the remarkable rise of a company that started above a bagel store in Ontario. At the heart of the story is an unlikely partnership between a visionary engineer, Mike Lazaridis and an abrasive Harvard Business school grad Jim Balsillie. Together, they engineered a pioneering pocket email device that became the tool of choice for presidents and CEOs. The partnership enjoyed only a brief moment on top of the world. However, at the very moment BlackBerry was ranked the world’s fastest growing company internal feuds and chaotic growth crippled the company as it faced its gravest test: Apple and Google’s entry in to mobile phones.

Expertly told by acclaimed journalists, Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, this is an entertaining, whirlwind narrative that goes behind the scenes to reveal one of the most compelling business stories of the new century.