It is hard to get away from all the news involving BlackBerry right now, with reports stating whether the Canadian company will or won’t make it in a market where Apple and Samsung dominate.
However, one loyal fan who will always stay faithful to the BlackBerry brand is Richard Lee, the professional football player who talks about his trials and tribulations playing for Brentford FC in his book, Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer.
What’s different about Lee’s book, however, is that he wrote the entire thing, not on a laptop, or more traditionally with pen and paper, but on a BlackBerry smartphone.
Mobilephones.com managed to get a one-on-one interview with Lee, to discuss football, business, and his loyalty to BlackBerry…
MP: I was surprised on reading Graduation that it wasn't solely focused on football. In a sentence, can you describe what the book is about?
RL: The book describes the journey of a season, giving an insight into the life of a footballer and the important role that psychology plays in succeeding in not only football but any worthy pursuit.
MP: What inspired you to write the book?
RL: I've studied 'performance' for the past 10 years, it's something that fascinates me - why some appear to be successful in every area in their life and others not so. The season itself was quite unique, it offered the perfect platform for me to discuss what I have learned and integrate into my own life.
MP: Is it true that you wrote the entire book on your BlackBerry?
RL: Yes, it's still on here now. I've just started writing number 2, which I'll also write on my BlackBerry. I'm on the tube for 2hrs 30mins per day (Cockfosters to Osterley - where we train) so the perfect opportunity to write!
MP: Do you still use the same BlackBerry which you wrote Graduation on, or have you moved onto another smartphone?
RL: It's newer but still has a keypad. I'll upgrade again soon to a newer BlackBerry but will ensure I still have a keypad. I also send 60+ emails a day for my various business interests so this suits me.
MP: How do you feel about BlackBerry's latest Z10 model which doesn't have a physical keyboard?
RL: Lovely looking phone and I've no doubt it'll be hugely popular. I know that I'm part of a dying breed to some extent but I just can't do without my QWERTY keyboard!
MP: You mention in the book that after the biggest season in your career, you finally learnt to enjoy football. Does this mean that you are planning to continue playing for some time yet?
RL: Yes, I'm very appreciative that I'm involved in what is considered a dream profession, something that I lost sight of for some time. I've had my injury problems this season but providing I can get through them then I'm sure I've still got a few more years in me.
MP: You have also explored other ventures, including owning the Dr Cap business and appearing on Dragon's Den. Are the paths to success comparable in both football and business?
RL: There are a lot of similarities. I genuinely believe that success in life, whatever your pursuit, boils down to a mindset, one that allows you to set new challenges regularly, search for ways to succeed and bounce back when you don't. This applies to everything, I've certainly had more failures than successes but with each one it offers an opportunity to learn and go again.
When appearing on dragons den for www.drcap.co.uk we were aware that it wasn't so much the business that we were selling but ourselves and I'm convinced that it was largely down to our preparation and positive approach that we were successful.
MP: Do you have any plans to write another book? If so, will this also be written on your phone?
RL: Yes and yes. I'm really excited about this project! The plan is for a Christmas release.