I've had a repeating conversation with a lot of people over the last few weeks relating to the new iPhone 5 release, Apple Inc. and Steve Jobs.
How does that relate to you? Plenty.
|Job's first pet?|
|Don't even ask what this is.|
Apple has primarily been a company of innovation and breaking rules. Taking the path least taken, at least according to their product designs. That's what made Apple unique, what makes their customers more than happy to stand in line overnight for the newest thing, to take mid to low-level customer service with a smile occasionally, to keep going back even if their product gets technical issues over and over.
|China's lineup for the IPhone 4|
Very different from most businesses.
Most don't have that type of loyalty.
But most don't have a clear message that resonates with their client-base.
Steve Wozniak is the man who knows how to set things up and get things done. He is the guy who can build the engine of functionality into a cause and clearly express the purpose behind a business.
Steve Jobs was a visionary. He was the message. He was a dreamer of change, of uniqueness, of nonconformity. Jobs was a man who went against blind repetitive, cookie-cutting business practices and product models.
In a time when the Motorola RAZR was incredibly popular, a flip-phone with over a dozen buttons and a half decent screen(for the time, I actually sold these, *sigh*), Jobs created the iPhone - a full screen/no flip phone with a single button.
Totally against the direction things were going.
But look at us now.
Every major manufacturer is copying - or at least emulating that same design years later.
Sadly, Apple is now one of them.
At present day, we are looking at the Apple iPhone 5 and I wonder if it would have even existed if Steve Jobs were still alive.
I can't believe it would.
I can see Jobs totally against it for so many reasons; its repetitive design and lack of originality; the fact that the only major design changes are things like slightly altered software and a new port design that can only frustrate customers because of needed upgrades to accessories.
Is there really a huge, fundamental difference in the products below?
Is Apple dropping the ball here? Have they forgot the vision of Jobs? Have they lost the Steve Jobs factor?
I've wondered about this since Jobs passed, and from what I've seen the corporation is leaning towards what most businesses do; turning their unique product/service into a commodity - aka. corporate suicide.
If they don't take what they are doing and realign it with the vision of why Apple exists in the first place, their competition will soon eat them alive.
It devalues their products, lowers customer loyalty and breeds a feeling of desperation.
Speaking of desperation, have you noticed how many lawsuits they have with their competitors? Why? Did Jobs go after his competitors over miniscule things like rounded corners? Did he care?
Nope. He had better things to do, like come up with the next greatest product that everyone wished they invented. He had innovations to produce and dreams to make reality, and that's what made Apple great.
What would Apple be producing now if Jobs were alive?
Well, starting out as a computer company, delving into mp3 players and then cell phones, I can only imagine they would push into other, high risk industries.
Maybe the car manufacturing industry, the iDrive or iRoll?(Copyright Michael Carty) Does it come with OnStar or maybe they designed their own version - iLost? Universal ports? Hybrid or 100% Electric? Solar power option? High end battery life? How many die-hard Apple customers would HAVE to have one? How many Apple employees would get one and double as free advertising? What unique body designs would it have?
It sounds funny, but it's true. Jobs was the type to do something like this, take something normal and make it completely different, unique and hip. Go against the direction everyone's heading and make his own path with it.
Again, it doesn't seem like that is Apple's current direction. It sounds like they want to push a tonne of hype on a product that is only superficially different from one they have previously produced. That they are commoditizing(real word?) their products and business and losing the message behind their purpose. They are going from,"I do it my way." to "Let's make some money."
So finally what does this have to do with you?
Is your purpose resonant with your actions? With your business practices? Customer service? Product designs? Workflow? Do you have the (insert your name here) factor?
Last week I wrote on my FB page: