Should Microsoft quit the MP3 player market and/or should Apple quit the personal computer market?

Apple Store“Seth Godin provided me with a copy of his new book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), and I think it will definitely get people to think about life. To give you a taste of what’s in the book, here’s an interview with Seth about the topics of perseverance and quitting,” Guy Kawasaki blogs for How to Change the World.

Here are two out of ten interetesing questions and answers (read the full article for the other eight Q&As):

Question: Should Microsoft quit the MP3 player market?

Answer: I thought they already did. They’re spending a lot of money, but they’re on a dead end. They always were. They saw the Dip, but instead of embracing it by completely reinventing what it meant to be an MP3 player, they just played it safe and made a piece of me-too.

When you copy something that’s already on the other side of the Dip, you’ve already lost. Microsoft “quit” the MP3 player market when they identified the wrong Dip. They picked the obvious, “safe” one—the one committees of people could live with, but one that is so big and so steep that even Microsoft doesn’t have the money to get through it.

Microsoft has a long history of sticking through Dips, and a long history of quitting dead ends. I have no idea what they’re thinking when it comes to the Zune, but it’s a dead end, through and through.

Question: Should Apple quit the personal computer market?

Answer: Apple has already crossed that Dip, big time. Not the “personal computer Dip” but the Dip of “style-conscious, designer’s, multimedia, student, family computer.” They’re the best in the world at that. They own it. They profit from it. Sure, if Steve hadn’t been arrogant, they could have been best in the world at a much bigger, much juicier market. But they’re not. Once they deal with that—and I think they mostly have—then they can erect a wall behind them, a bigger dip, one that prevents others from following. Over time, personal computers become a profitless commodity while Apple’s market just gets sexier, more fun, and more profitable.

There’s much more in the full article, including, for one example, “Should America quit the Iraq War?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]


  1. “Should Apple quit the personal computer market?” —Well, they kind of invented it and continue to make both the best hardware and OS for it while remaining highly profitable, so I assume this question was rhetorical.

    “Should America quit the Iraq War?”—the “War” was over the moment we removed Saddam’s government from power. Since then, we’ve been occupying Iraq, precipitating yet more violence, death, and terrorism. So the question is, “should America quit the Iraq Occupation?” Considering the only other final option is annexing Iraq (which I’m sure the neocons originally wanted), the answer is becoming obvious to more Americans every day.

  2. @Ashami;

    Whatever gave you the idea that anybody wanted to annex Iraq? Whatever Kool-aide you’re drinking, I want some, it must really give you a buzz!

    I agree with your statement about war vs. occupation, that IS a point most people miss, even the newsies. But I happen to think that if we were to go about things with a bit more cooperation from the international community, it would be easier to finally get ahead there. Unfortunately, most of the international community wants Bush & Co. to fail, he ticked ’em off when he went ahead with the war against their wishes.

    In short, we COULD win yet in Iraq, just not the way we are.

  3. I think it was certainly in Apple’s plans to quit the computer buisness

    When Steve jobs returned to Apple, he had a seriously defunct company and rapidly losing market share of the Mac computer.

    At the time Steve Jobs was cashing in, he sold Pixar after running it off his wallet for so long and it finally turned around.

    He got a new job on the board of directors of Disney, being one of their largest shareholders.

    Now he was straddled with a failed company at Cupertino, so he started making the rounds to possibly sell Apple Computer.

    HP was a very likely candidate, the new CEO was foward thinking and willing to tke HP in new directions for profit.

    The only problem was Mac’s were so “not PC” in every aspect almost and HP wanted a computer company that they could compete against Dell with.

    So Apple had to factor in the possibility of running Windows and that’s why we have Intel processors and Bootcamp.

  4. We should pull our troops out of Iraq and string Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld on a noose at the White House.

    Only then will justice have been served.

    What Al KEDA justice?

    1: The enemy attacked our homeland killing several thousand people.

    2: The US Military identified the homebase(s) of the enemy and took to the war to their ground so they don’t fight us here.

    3: We are kicking their collective ass and will only pull out until the enemy is so far defeated that they can’t follow us home to attack us again.

    Or would you prefer having death and destruction in your own house and school instead.

    Liberal Demoncrats are so stupid.

  5. Yes, pull our troops out of Iraq NOW. Of course, you know what will happen next, right? If you remember Vietnam, you’ll remember that Congress cut all funding to the South Vietnamese government after signing a peace treaty with the North Vietnamese. No less than two years later, the North had invaded and conquered the South, with assistance from China and Russia. An untold number of people were executed as “enemies of the state”. Millions more were shipped into brutal gulags. Even today, Vietnam cannot produce enough food to feed its own citizens, and the average height of men has fallen precipitously (evidence of widespread famine).

    So yes, throw the Iraqis to the wolves of Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, and the rest, and with that, throw away all hope that freedom-loving people in the middle east have in America. Show them that we can’t live up to our promises. Show them that we can’t tough it out. Show them that when confronted with a fifth-column press and beheaders that we run like scared children.

    We have already tried the retreat plan, guys. Remember Somalia? Black Hawk Down? Somalia was one of many retreats that told the terrorists that America would not fight back when struck. Somalia made 9-11 a certainty.

    So yes, pull out of Iraq now, and wait for the next 3000 dead.

  6. Alright, kiddies, let’s keep it on topic here! This is MacDailyNews after all.

    We all know we should drop a few atomic bombs on Iraq and Iran, pave over the countries with concrete, and then build Las Vegas East, but that is a discussion for another thread. Got it?

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