Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Sets Apple Apart

Excellent article from Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini, putting the iPad release and strategy in historical context, based on his involvement in the original Mac project. I have been meaning for a while to write about how preposterous it is that Apple can go, from a standing start, to industry leader with the iPhone. It would be as if Hyundai entered the auto market, and their very first automobile surpassed Toyota for quality and BMW for product experience.It just shouldn't be possible--new entrants always start at the low end and claw their way up.

It is both preposterous, and unfortunate. Apple needs competition (I need.Apple to have competition). They have it in some quarters, from Google thank goodness, But they could use much more. And there is just absolutely nobody even close to their league. They are as much better than the competition as Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, at the top of their game (except more so). Sony used to be thought of as an innovator, but they are on life support, they couldn't eat Apple's crumbs.

So I have been contemplating how this can be. I hadn't come to any satisfying answer. Tog's observations do give some insight:
Probably the strongest character trait of Steve Jobs is his absolute lack of fear. While every other CEO in America, it seems, shakes in his boots at the very thought of not having a good next quarter, my experience in knowing Steve Jobs is that, frankly, he could care less about the next quarter. He’s much more focused on the next five years, rather than the next 90 days. But even more than that, it is his quest to change the world, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that end even if he risks failure in the process. [my italics]
As any high school coach worth their salt would say--if you are afraid to fail, you will never excel.


  1. What Sets Apple Apart - First thing that comes to mind is... price,a high price ;o) I know apple heads say it is worth it but I am not yet sold although their business sense is pretty amazing.

  2. I totally agree on price, that's why I personally own zero Apple products.

  3. And price is why I'll stop with my now 2-generations old iPod! That and I also don't want to be associated with the Apple cult. ;)