Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” I’m not sure how the executives at Google and Microsoft overlooked that human axiom, but they have. Both companies are repeating what happens to rich and arrogant business entities. Apple is not.
Confusing Shotgun Blasts
That Apple, Google, and Microsoft are not rich beyond our wildest dreams is not the question. All three are powerful companies with vast resources, yet Apple in the 21st century seems to defy the standards of history.
Standards? Once a company becomes successful in whatever endeavor it tries to recreate that success in other areas; to expand and diversify.
Google is a search engine giant and the vast majority of its riches come from search engine advertising. Pretty much every other attempt to diversify has failed, and some of those failures have little to do with the company’s core product, search engine advertising.
Android? Loser of big money. Google Glass? Laughable. Self-driving cars? Just wait until it rains.
Microsoft is a software giant where the vast majority of its riches came from the duopoly of Windows and Office. Pretty much every other attempt to diversify itself has failed, and some of those failures have little to do with the company’s core products.
Bing. Surface Pro. Skype. It’s a long list, folks.
Apple seems to fear the past. Every new product is either tethered to a current product or adroitly placed next to other products in a vast, growing, well-integrated ecosystem, where each product receives positive leverage from others.
Apple Stores begat Mac sales and iPod sales which begat the iTunes Music Store. The iPod also begat iPhone and iPad, both of which benefited from the retail Apple Store experience, and Apple’s experience selling online– the iTunes App Store, then the Mac App Store.
Apple Watch fits into the same ecosystem, and though it’s a daring change from a normal Apple product, it fits in well and sales will benefit because of 1) Apple Stores, 2) App Stores, 3) iPhone and iPad customers who number into the hundreds of millions.
Instead of throwing a bunch of crazy ideas up against a wall to see what sticks (Google and Microsoft, I’m looking at you!), Apple chooses carefully new products or services which can leverage the value of existing products. Let’s call it the ‘halo effect‘ which Apple uses to the company’s advantage.
Compared to the confusing mess of products emanating from Google and Microsoft, Apple appears disciplined, driven, and regulated; no mean feat for a company that spawned the Think Different™ advertising campaign, and whose roots trace back to a garage. Apple is building an empire block by block. Apple’s major competitors appear destined to repeat history by remaining in a constant state of confusion.