On Monday June 2nd, Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. unveiled what will most likely become his Greatest Product to date. Although passing away almost three years ago , Steve was able to unveil
“One More Thing”
Tim Cook’s Apple
Like many of the products unveiled by Steve in his history at Apple Computer as well as Pixar and now Apple Inc. they are not so much a revolution as an evolution. Apple’s secret sauce has always been the ability commoditize technology and place it into the hands of the public as a useful tool for change. Steve once talked of producing a personal computer as friendly to use “for the rest of us” as a household appliance. In 1977 there were a handful of personal computers before the Apple 1 , and once again in 1984 (working as a pirate within his own company) he saw the need to replace the design with a more user-friendly UI the result became the Macintosh which today we call the iMac. This formula could be applied to software as well as hardware as in spreadsheets, desktop publishing, MacWrite, MP3 players, iTunes, Mobile Phones, iPad, iBook Author, iTunes U etc. all required a dash of Apple’s special sauce to make those product categories relevant and groundbreaking.
Steve began as he usually did by going back to the original core values of American business. Then by dissecting the essence of the new category , breaking it down to its parts, he was able to assemble a better product. By analyzing what elements of a successful business to keep and what features of todays corporations should be jettisoned. He applied his life long philosophy of building a product that people want, building it with integrity, ingenuity and most of important style, letting it serve a purpose while doing no harm.
In a world where today’s major corporations routinely skirt their corporate responsibility by paying fines rather than fair taxes , stealing products and ideas, bribing officials to abuse their positions and some who will resort to even killing their way to the top. Today where corporate culture is so often guided by the mantra ” Don’t get Caught” rather than “Don’t be evil”. The American business model once revered around the globe has become the poster boy for corruption and evil. Compare Apple today with Exxon Mobile the company Apple recently displaced as the global leader click here In this environment Apple Inc. stands out as an anomaly and indeed a national treasure.
If Steve’s new product is successful and so far it is incredibly so and other companies and countries can begin to embrace and adopted it as universally as they did Steve’s other products. Steve will have fulfilled his other dream of
“Putting a Ding in the Universe”
On Monday June 2nd we got to see this new product category at work, for the first time. We were witness to a transfer of power or more importantly a dynamic machine able to transform a corporation. We saw on stage a company able to fundamentally change its DNA on the fly morphing into a new entity, we were a witness to the transformation of Steve Jobs’s Apple morphing into Tim Cook’s Apple. Just as exciting to witness as Democracy was once when people saw a peaceful transfer of power enabling the underlying structure to continue. Tim’s Keynote clearly demonstrated that Apple was indeed a new company and definitely Tim’s company. The keynote became a metaphor for Tim Cook’s particular brand of genius, logistics. The ability to responsibly source thousands of parts from all corners of the globe, just ask GM a former global leader how hard that is, while monitoring workers conditions from factories all over the globe including the US. Coordinating and shipping millions product per quarter (76 million) with pinpoint accuracy and timing and to top it off the ability to keep it all secret as is Apple’s magic. If you start doing the numbers ,you’ll need a computer handy it’s just mind-boggling. I find it hard to think of any corporation able to duplicate it. Only someone like Tim whose brain works in such a fashion and who devotes every waking hour to it, could do it. Much can be and has been said for Steve’s gift as a marketing guy but marketing a product that one can not deliver becomes a disaster just ask Apple’s competitors, IBM, Microsoft and Samsung forget about any partisanship they all acknowledge this fact. At WWDC we saw hundreds of new API’s (products for geeks) some with amazing game changing promise in a rapid fire multi faceted, expertly timed, introduction that ticked off like Swiss clockwork. A logistic’s guys wet dream. One could see it in face , his gait Tim was in heaven, this was his day. I’ll bet Steve was as well.
Oh BTW One More Thing! While thinking about and researching this post, I believe I hit upon when Apple will be transforming again beginning around 2021 That’s another post for another time. Stay Tuned !