“Here in Silicon Valley, we’re all about change. Out with orchards, in with tilt-ups. Out with analog, in with digital. Out with print, in with online. Amid all this, it’s comforting to know that some things stay the same. Apple Computer, for instance,” Evelyn Richards writes for The San Jose Mercury News. “Funny, I realized, how Apple has in many ways changed the world, changed us, but not itself.”
“Sure, it’s a much bigger operation now — 15,000 employees instead of 1,000 at the IPO. Sales of $14 billion instead of $117 million. A focus on entertainment and the iPod, not just personal computers. From the inside, it must seem like so much more of a bureaucracy, with the many regimens and rivalries that size delivers. But for those of us on the outside, observers and customers, today’s Apple Computer — at its core — bears a remarkable resemblance to that of the early years,” Richards writes. “The company’s most enduring principle is summed up best with its own 1997-1998 advertising slogan, ‘Think Different.’ (Even the word choice broke the rules.)”
“By thinking differently itself, by taking risks, by retaining a touch of its counterculture roots, Apple has innovated again and again over 30 years. The company has shown consistency in other ways, too: delivering power to the individual. Executing with elegance. Building loyalty and hype, even fanaticism, with secrecy and proprietary technologies,” Richards writes. “And let’s not forget that, except for Jobs’ estrangement from 1985 to 1997, Apple has been shaped by the same headstrong co-founder, a man with incredible vision, little tact and a bounce in his walk. Few companies can claim such consistency.”
“Nowadays, Apple is so impenetrable, journalists complain. Why not? Suspense, surprise, staging — they’re all part of the 30-year-old recipe. Remember, Jobs closeted the Mac team in ‘Texaco Towers’ a few blocks from headquarters and kept a tight seal on the pirate band’s work. As the day approached, Apple stoked the world’s curiosity with its now-famous 1984 Super Bowl ad, whose powerful images urged viewers to reject conformity and authority and embrace their individuality,” Richards writes. “A few weeks ago, I spotted the celebrity CEO walking alone in his quiet Palo Alto neighborhood. It was early on a Thursday afternoon. What change was Jobs pondering? The imminent introduction of the Intel-based Mac mini? The digital living room? Apple eventually buying Disney? I don’t know. But I do know he had that trademark bounce in his step.”
Full article here.
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Apple continues to shine as company nears 30th year – March 24, 2006
‘Thirty Apple Years – A Celebration… Through Their Advertisements’ happens April 1st in Melbourne – March 24, 2006