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  (Source: static.guim.co.uk)
The key to Apple's success is elimination

It's no secret that Apple is a wildly successful software/computing company. Its products compete with some of the largest tech giants in the world like Google and Microsoft, yet it beat them all when Millward Brown (and over 2 million consumers) selected Apple as the world's most valuable brand in the 2011 BrandZ study. 

For Apple, the strategy is quality over quantity. The company has a smaller portfolio than most tech companies, but that hasn't stopped it from being in the top ranks. Just last month, Apple announced record fiscal Q2 revenue of $24.67 billion USD

Apple has certainly come a long way after experiencing consecutive quarterly losses during its attempts at reinvention in the mid to late 1990's. But many credit Jobs' return to Apple in the late 90's for the company's turnaround and introduction of revolutionary products.

But according to Nike CEO Mark Parker, it isn't so much what Jobs did for the company that turned it into a success, but rather, it's what he didn't do. Parker recalls having a conversation with Jobs when he first returned to Apple as CEO, asking for advice regarding Parker's Nike products. 

"Do you have any advice?" Parker asked Jobs. 

"Well, just one thing," replied Jobs. "Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff." 

An awkward moment slipped by where Parker just laughed at the advice, but Jobs didn't even chuckle. He was serious about what he had said, and after thinking about it a moment, Parker realized he was right.

"We had to edit," said Parker.

When Jobs returned to Apple, he cut the product line down from 350 to 10, and focused only on a few machines that were meticulously perfected. This strict focus has led to effective product designs and communications for Apple. For instance, when Apple released the next-generation MacBook laptops, the company announced that its aluminum unibody enclosure reduced 60 percent of the machine's major structural parts, making it thinner, lighter and surprisingly stronger.  

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on," said Jobs. "But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying 'no' to 1,000 things."





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Maybe people should listen...
By InvertMe on 5/17/2011 12:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I dislike Apple they seem to pull the rest of the market around by the nose.

Apple makes a new product, Appleites eat it up and then suddenly the rest of the market decides they need to make 100 versions of the exact same product.

Steve/Apple has something going on - so maybe his advise worth listening to.




RE: Maybe people should listen...
By Fracture on 5/17/2011 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
You can't patent utilitarian objects, so I highly doubt it. On the other hand, Apple and other increasingly less competitive brands could learn something from Zappos about improving the customer experience.


RE: Maybe people should listen...
By Zingam on 5/17/2011 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so. Apple didn't invent anything. There were smartphones before iPhone, there were notebooks before MacBook, there were tablets before iPad and I doubt that they've invented the MP3 player. What they do is they take something and make it more marketable.

The difference between Apple and HTC for example is that Apple sells a service not just a piece of hardware. Their smartphones come with a synchronization software, an online shop to buy crap from, easily available development tools etc.
And this also works because they have few products. I've they introduce 10-20 new iPhone types a year even if they reach more people they'll not stand out so much and Apple won't be able to sell them for so much money.


RE: Maybe people should listen...
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/17/2011 4:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
The notion that Apple only sells to the faithful and the brainwashed is a false one. They have broken way past that limited market and into the mainstream years ago. Something like the iPad or iPhone doesn't outsell a mainstream blockbuster piece of consumer electronics like the Nintendo Wii by selling only to the stereotypical Apple zealot.


RE: Maybe people should listen...
By darckhart on 5/17/2011 9:16:14 PM , Rating: 3
No... they've just brainwashed more....


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