Pick a day, any day, and you’ll find a headline about Apple that is stated as fact but is just a plain vanilla rumor. A statement without a shred of evidence to support the premise. What’s the latest?
Get With It, Timmy Boy!
The one that caught my eye and caused it to burn, when then caught my hair on fire is the one about Apple’s board of directors pressing CEO Time to essentially innovate faster.
Many headlines treated it as a fact, as if the board of directors had issued a press release with their directive to Cook to innovate.
To paraphrase a little of Shakespeare’s “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war“, I say, Cry ‘Bogus’, and let the truth be revealed.
The story about Apple’s board riding Tim Cook to make Apple innovate faster is bogus. It’s unlikely that anything like that occurred during a board meeting with Cook.
Apple doesn’t work that way. Innovation doesn’t work that way.
Does anyone who follows Apple closely, pundit or tech analyst or market analyst, not believe that Apple’s board of directors are clued into the company’s upcoming products and advancements?
Flavors Of Innovation
With Apple, innovation comes in two flavors. Iterative innovation, whereby Apple simply polishes and improves products. And, disruptive innovation, whereby Apple introduces a new product which disrupts the marketplace and competitor’s products.
The iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, iTunes App Store, iPad are examples of disruptive innovation. Such innovations are not on a timetable. Such products are ready when they’re ready, always require an element of risk, and a complex set of components which must be ready in great volume and before anyone else knows what’s going on.
Does it even sound plausible that the company’s board of directors would be so removed from Apple’s plans that they need to push Tim Cook to make the company innovate faster?
Must. Innovate. Now
Let’s assume for a moment that the iPad was the last disruptively innovative product at Apple. That was launched in 2010, just three years ago. The iPhone was launched three years before that. Apple’s iTunes Store was launched in 2003, four years before the iPhone. The iPod, two years before that.
Disruptive innovation doesn’t work on a calendar schedule. While Apple faces heavy competition from many sides, it’s always on the low end, where the competition gains market share, but doesn’t gain profits, which so happens to be the area where Apple dominates.
In the meantime, lets look at the pace of innovation at Apple’s competitors. What disruptive innovation has come in recent years from Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Motorola, HTC, Dell, HP, or BlackBerry?
All companies, Apple included work on iterative innovation, but Apple seems to have a better track record in the 21st century of good old fashioned disruptive innovation. Does anyone believe that Apple’s board of directors does not know that? Is it even plausible to think that board members would ride Tim Cook and press for faster innovation, and then share that knowledge and directive with others?
That’s just bogus.