Many innovators could tell you about the challenges Apple faced some time ago and how they overcame them to be one of the best-known computer manufacturers. Just as important as the strength of a company, are their weaknesses that people tend to forget.
What they do right:
- Apple is customer focused. A majority of their products, services, technologies, have all been in favor of the end-user — both new and their existing customer base. While I may personally dislike iTunes, I can definitely see the value it provides for people, as well as making amends with the media industry. People love their iPods, MacBooks, Mighty mouse, Mac Mini, and other popular Mac products.
- Apple makes their products available to the market effectively. These days, if you don’t make your product out to market in an aggressive time frame, you fail. I am very impressed with Apple’s innovations and the short time they took to make them available to their consumers.
- Apple is quality-focused. Not many Mac users ever complain about conflicting software. Why? Apple makes reliable, tested, durable products that can withstand the demands of their users. I imagine they probably lab-test with a combination of professional users as well as inexperienced ones to see what’s up.
- “Innovate or Die” is Apple’s other motto. Years ago, the tech giant was facing bankruptcy among other challenges, faced gaining poor reputation among users, industry insiders and investors. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak challenged the industry by improving the basic functions that consumers wanted — and did a damn good job of it.
What they do wrong:
- Not transparent enough. Apple has gained a reputation by means of fan-boys being egregiously gullible to company rumors, especially among bloggers. Whether they are legitimate or not, the company doesn’t do good enouigh job communicating to users and the industry. I suggest they could do a blog with a team of folks who handle user, industry, and press questions and respond accordingly.
- Inching closer to the dark side. I strongly believe Apple does have their customer’s interests at heart, but I think their success is becoming like a snowball — if they can’t achieve phenomenal numbers from the previous quarter, they are viewed as slowing down and imploding on innovation. Because of this (coupled with the obvious — they want to stay on top), they cooperate with the industry too much. For instance, the iPhone, they restricted it to just AT&T and continued to pursue DMCA notifications against the authors of the unlocking software. This isn’t cool, and is proof they are edging closer to the dark side.
That’s pretty much it on what I believe Apple does well and what obstacles they face as they go forward. I presume that as an elitist technology company, a bit of mystery is good which is why they probably keep their mouth shut about their products as it drive bloggers and columnists wild when they release innovative technologies.
Surely that can’t be all the things Apple does right and wrong … share your thoughts in the comments. 🙂