BBM used to be one of the only reasons to buy a BlackBerry. So when CEO John Chen decided to open up the messaging app to iOS and Android users, the executive was taking a big risk. Remember, this was before the release of the BlackBerry Priv, the first ‘Berry to be powered by Android. But Chen wasn’t too concerned with losing hardware sales because he was already looking at BlackBerry as a software company.
He knew he was on the right track when Facebook paid $21.8 billion to buy WhatsApp. If the latter was worth almost $22 billion, Chen reasoned that BBM had to be worth a few billion. …