How did CrackBerry.com come to be? How did five guys in Winnipeg come up with the idea and create the best site on the net for BlackBerry users? The answer is simple – addiction.
Kevin Michaluk worked at CanWest Global, Canada's #1 media company, working in business development for their online division (Canada.com Network). CanWest are proud to be on the cutting edge of technology and Michaluk was given a BlackBerry on the first day of the job. After a week he asked someone what it was for. Once shown the ins and outs of the little black device he quickly became addicted to it. He used it for an alarm clock, slept with it, took it with him to the bathroom, mastered brick breaker on it, and got his typing speed up to 50+ words per minute on it.
When he left CanWest to take on private contract consulting gigs, they kindly demanded the BlackBerry back (rumor has it security had to stop him at the door and pry it out of his hands). Even though there was now less need for a BlackBerry, Michaluk went through serious withdrawal symptoms. Listless, distracted with twitchy thumbs, his girlfriend demanded he get either a new berry or get treatment. Luckily, the new 8700 was just out. Michaluk bought his new BlackBerry and felt much better.
While he felt nervous about getting others hooked, Michaluk convinced two colleagues to try the BlackBerry. Kevin Hill, a journalist and James Falconer, a graphic designer, were both instantly hooked and a small coven of CrackBerry addicts is formed.
Hanging out in back lanes looking for better signal strength and hanging around malls looking for new accessories and devices the three formed a gang they call The Crack Team.
One night while sitting at the local ale house, ignoring each other while peering at their little screens, thumbs-a-tapping, Hill comments that calling BlackBerries CrackBerries is so apt given their addiction level. In the ensuing moment, Falconer has the inspired idea to build a site about it and blurts outloud "CrackBerry.com." Silence fills the air, the Kevins nod their heads in dumbfounded approval, and the vision and mission of CrackBerry.com is officially conceived.
Michaluk’s mind in full gear says “I’d love to have an @ CrackBerry.com email address.” Kevin M beats Kevin H to the punch and Kevin @ CrackBerry.com is taken. Hill demands beer as compensation.
The Crack Team decide to bring their addiction out into the open and spread the word with the new site. The three might not be considered tech experts or industry insiders (at least not yet), but believed they were dedicated users and abusers and that should count for something. It is decided the website should be relevant and useful for all 10 million blackberry users out there, even if it means helping them get over their addictions.
Then the first snag.
The domain name was already owned. After some quick research the owner is found. Then snag number two. The owner is not going to give up the name for free. The Crack Team need an investor. A friendly investor comes on board and CrackBerry.com soon becomes the domain of the real Crack Team.
The team decide to build the site and they bring on a couple of other team members -- the best in the business -- to help launch and operate the site. Tom Kaminski and Remik Szul know their stuff inside out and the small site for abusers takes on a new life and begins to grow in conception and scope.
In November 2006, Webster’s Dictionary announces that CrackBerry is the 2006 New Word of the Year. The team feel good about that. The private investor feels even better. Both Kaminski and Szul are non-CrackBerry users and see the effects of the addiction. But Kaminski is a genius and Remik thinks the team is insane so the founding members hold off on pushing the CrackBerry on them. For now.
So here is the site. It took months of hard work and research and the design talents of Falconer to get it looking right, the genius of Kaminski and Szul to get it working correctly, the drive of Michaluk to get ‘er done and the work of Hill to get the pages filled.
While the site and the team are biased toward the BlackBerry and its addictive qualities, the scope of the site will encompass all of today’s cutting edge smart phones.
The Team are committed to operating the #1 site for CrackBerry Users and Abusers. They’ll be working on the site continuously to bring you the most current news, information, best stories from the mobile industry, etc. etc. If you want to join “The Crack Team,” we want to hear from you. The more industry insiders, tech gurus, and plain old addicts we can find to help us out the better our site will be. And if people have ideas for the site, get them to us.