Warped? Yes. How else can you explain the technorati elite’s view, formed while Steve Jobs was running the Apple Show, that every new Apple innovation, especially of the disrupting order, upon introduction, inevitably is doomed?
Of Myths and Magic
Apple’s entire history is full of the human touch; brash and hubris filled upstart that achieves greatness, only to fall from grace, yet rescued by a fallen founder, redeemed by an almost unimaginable string of successes.
Along the way, the industry’s technorati elite constantly besieged Apple with undue criticism, accusing the company of employing sleight of hand marketing tricks to persuade cult members to buy overpriced and underpowered goods.
After co-founder Steve Jobs return from exile in 1997, the company embarked on a long streak of successful ventures (for the sake of brevity, we’ll ignore the Barbie doll iBooks, MobileMe, the Mac Cube, and Antennagate, and Apple Maps).
Within a few years Apple reeled of the iPod, iTunes, the iTunes Store, the iPhone, the iTunes App Store, and the iPad.
At each new venture Apple was roundly criticized by the very same technorati elite who today expect Apple to re-invent or disrupt an industry every year, despite the historical evidence which suggests that to the contrary.
- Innovation and disruption doesn’t work on a schedule
- Apple’s entire history is more of iterative innovation vs. disruption
- Apple’s greatest financial success came after Steve Jobs died
That Apple has had unparalleled success in a variety of connected industries is not disputed. Clearly, Steve Jobs had a magic touch and the drive and determination to push through obstacles so the company could build products that customers love.
The myth is that Jobs didn’t make mistakes. He made plenty. The myth is that disrupting industries is a regular occurrence, and lack of a recent disruption or a new category of products means Apple is doomed. Again.
Apple’s many critics want to live with both sides of their mouths talking at the same time; one side dissing Apple’s newest products as lame and uninspiring; the other side dissing Apple for not producing another industry disruption with regularity.
Steve Jobs was an imperfect man. The myth is that he singlehandedly ran Apple’s success machine, and since he is gone, so is his magic touch, the very same touch that critics roundly dismissed as marketing fluff or Kool-Aid for the zealous faithful. I can understand a cult-like reference to Apple and the Mac faithful when marketshare was slipping below 2-percent, but have any of those same members of the technorati elite noticed that Apple now has half a billion customers?