Friday, October 23, 2009

Successful Innovative Companies: Volume 3

The Successful Innovative Company of the week is: Apple.

The Apple Logo
What they do right: According to Steve Jobs Apple does not release a new product unless it is innovative. The first home computer people actually used. The first laptop people bought. The iMac revolution. The iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, soon perhaps the iPad?

In the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley the story of Apple is told. A few guys in a garage that decided to make this cool product, a computer, that the average person could use. They followed that computer up with several more popular editions. They made a laptop that people still keep in their basements because it still works. The Powerbook was the first successful laptop and everything since then has been based roughly on it.

Then about 10 years ago music was becoming digitally accessible to the masses and there was a company called Napster that allowed free downloads. iTunes was created to make the music industry happy and it also happens to make the millions of usesrs happy by having nearly every song available. That coincided with the release of the iPod. This one little thing changed the world. Four letters and eight ounces, iPod. People used to read, sleep, watch, talk to others, but all of that changed. You could carry around all of your music in a box less than half the size of a cd player. Headphones are now so common place in public areas that you wonder what people did in the past. Then they came out with the iPhone and people had most of the capability of computer in a piece of plastic the size of a wallet. Music, camera, pictures, phone, texting, internet, weather, GPS enabled maps, and more!

Steve Jobs is reported to only release new products that are significant innovations. When Apple comes out with a new product you can guarantee it is something different.

What they could improve: It would be great if I could afford to buy more of their products. Unfortunately they are not about to start marketing to the poor when they are doing so well with the rich. I think a problem that can arrive when anyone climbs to the top of their pyramid is that they get cocky and disrespectful. I feel that sometimes Apple gives off this yuppie vibe that you need them to be cool, but changing that would destroy their amazing marketing so I guess it comes with the territory.

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