Apple is starting to crack and everyone is throwing curve balls at it. The greatest company on earth is not growing anymore. What? Panic? What should I do? What happened? A few quick notes.
- The most painful truth about apple is that in recent years apple focused more on the superficial than on the essential. When Steve Jobs was at the helm of the company, priority number one was to make great products. And great products != numbers shipped. Apple always built useful tools that you couldn’t find anywhere else. That’s why designers and creatives bought macs, not because of the aluminium shell, but because the platform had the best tools. The iPhone was the same thing. At launch no one had the same tools, thus the iPhone was useful. With time Android played catch-up and surpassed iOS and apple focused on selling the shell instead.
- The pinnacle of this announced disaster came with two products that show how adamant Apple is right now: The $10,000 watch and the 1-port MacBook. Two products that are so wrong I’m amazed it took so long for them to stop growing.
- Apple always took some existing market product, made it 10 times better and sold it. This happened with the iPod and the iPhone. Since then these blockbuster products (that they milked, milked, milked like Microsoft milks Windows and Office) there is nothing. Their `love’ for music? They bought beats headphones (the crapiest, low-fi headphones in the market) just because 99% of soccer, football and track players where using them. Did they make a good product out of it? Nah…
- When apple announced the iPhone it was a revolution and everybody cheered. But Steve Jobs made another announcement that made me scary at the time: They changed the name of the company from Apple Computer Inc. to just Apple Inc. Dropping the Computer from the name wasn’t the issue. The issue was the mindset that this created. A Computer is a tool. Is the digital era equivalent of a piece of plywood and a hacksaw. You can build houses with those. Dropping the Computer meant a change in apple mission. The change from making premium tools (that they charged premium money for) to the making of great gadgets (that they still charged premium money). But a great gadget is not the same thing as a great tool. The later doesn’t need to be useful while the former needs to be useful to succeed. In the end, they started targeting the sheep instead of the shepherd and their sales exploded. Until now.
- The “Think Different” ads that defined Apple said:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
- WE MAKE TOOLS FOR THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE. No more.