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. WiserGuy:

    Prehaps a history lesson is in order, with NO politics intended:

    (1) Al Qaeda, the organization behind the 9/11 attacks, was “allowed” into Afganistan and then dominated the existing Afghan government. This organization was not in Iraq until the US overthrew Sadam.

    (2) Sadam NEVER allowed any radical group in Iraq, other than the Bath Party, which was originally based on the National Socialist Party (the Nazi’s). He was ruthless in rooting out other radical/terrorist groups, whatever its ultimate purpose. He was a total monster, but he had, as near as most objective sources can determine, nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. He surely loved the attacks, but he actually dispised Al Queda.

    (3) The US attack on Iraq had several purposes, but dealing any additional blows to Al Queda was NOT part of them.

  2. The U.S. needs a war every 10 years maximum like a junkie needs a fix. It proves patriotism or something. America need an excuse to ask whether the flag is still there, and to torture, bomb and kill its allies with “friendly fire” rather than go into withdrawal.

    Uh take a look at history in ten year segments and see how many devastating wars, genocides and polgroms were commited.

    The US sat by the sidelines in WWII and it was a costly mistake, it cost many many times the American lives than what was lost in Iraq.

    Now the focus is on preventing these terrible things and people from mushrooming out of control BEFORE it hits us.

    America goes through cycles of strong presidents and weak ones.

    Ones that got the balls to make the world safer and ones that can’t.

    Obviously Al Gore doesn’t have the balls, thank god he didn’t get elected.

  3. @WiserGuy,

    “Remember this, the US Military has enourmous resources and intelligence at it’s disposal. They know what is going on and YOU DON’T.”

    Just one question: how is the search for WMD’s in Iraq coming along?

    What a fool you are – ‘WiserGuy’ my ass.

  4. Hi,

    Most of the article is good. However, the slap at Steve Jobs (I assume that is the Steve he is referring too). He should note history, Apple has been growing for all of Job’s Tenure. The losses (profit and market share) occured when others controlled Apple.

    Don’t get me wrong, Apple and Jobs have made mistakes (Apple III leaps to mind), but with him the direction of the company has always been positive and growth usually has been stellar.

    The down times for Apple came in the early nighties when “Steve” was at Next and building Pixar.

  5. Just one question: how is the search for WMD’s in Iraq coming along?

    When the American forces were about to cement control over Iraq in the early days of the war. Sadam sent all his fighter planes and cargo planes to IRAN.

    Arabs have a history of fighting one another and then change alliances and fight together to fight someone else.

    Need I mention the Palestinian factions?

    The PROOF of WMD’s was evident with the gassing of the Kurds and technological purchases of specialized equipment. Just because Sadamm sent everything over the border into Iran before the US could get to them doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.

    Saddam knew the US could justify the war with the American public if the WMD’s were found, so he got rid of the evidence, just like any drug seller tries to do when the police approach.

    Remember Saddam created GREAT ECOLOGICAL DAMAGE to the Persian Gulf and the enviorment by burning Kuwaits numerou oilfields that took SEVERAL YEARS to put out.

    Global warming?

    Saddam is your friend? I think not.

    You demoncrats just spew your rethoric to advance your political objective at the cost of American lives and world peace.


  6. “Ones that got the balls to make the world safer and ones that can’t.”

    Thank you for those brave and eloquent words, professor. I have been swayed by your airtight reasoning a flowery prose. Endless land war on the other side of the world can only be a good thing. After all, we want to be the “ones that got the balls.” Don’t we?

  7. The problem with a guy like this is that, by the time you’ve made fun of him, he’s said something crazier and dumber than the thing you made fun of him for in the first place.
    Sometimes the internet can be hell on the snarky.

  8. @WiserGuy,

    “When the American forces were about to cement control over Iraq in the early days of the war. Sadam sent all his fighter planes and cargo planes to IRAN.”

    Thank the heavens for ‘WiserGuy’ and his incredible evidence. Now, can you please give the White House a call and let them know about this, because you have answered a lot of questions right there! Now, just show me the proof of your claims, you know, the satellite images that would clearly pick up all these fighter and cargo planes moving to Iran – but hang on, I said WMDs – WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION, SORRY, DECTRUCTION, not fighter planes and cargo planes… what’s that ‘WiserGuy’, you have no proof?

    WiserGuy, you need to quit while you’re behind. You clearly are a Brainwashed Republican arsehole.

  9. “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.”

    Buhahahahaha, WiserGuy, you’re a joker. Oh, what a laugh, buhahahahaha.
    1. Ok, true, but who is the enemy, what is the nature of this war?
    2. Are you talking about Iraq? There are no Al Kaida bases there and never were. Afganistan it is. So why US is in Iraq then? Is the US army so poor in geography they confused countries and part of what was destined for Afganistan made a wrong turn and ended up in Baghdad?
    3. Who is kicking who? US can’t win this war using the current tactics. This is a guerilla war in a country, where population is not the enemy, but already hates US guts therefore supporting raising insurgency. US army’s goegraphic skills are second only to cross-cultural skills. Whew, WiserGuy or whatever, read a little more than a bible and watch a little more than Fox News.

    MW: attack

  10. All of you Iraq war proponents need to do one thing . . enlist, go there and put your asses on the line!! Put your money where your mouth is, otherwise you are serious hypocrites, and cowards.

  11. (3) The US attack on Iraq had several purposes, but dealing any additional blows to Al Queda was NOT part of them.

    I disagree. Even if what you say is true and there was no Al Keda in Iraq before the US invasion, it still gives great blows to the enemy.

    Taking over Iraq achieves these objectives:

    1: It gets rid of Saddam, which has caused numerous ecological harm, human death and instability in the region.

    2: It provides ground to take the war to the Al Keda enemy instead of waiting for them to arrive in our respective countries.

    3: It denies Al Keda recruitment potential and safe haven in Iraq.

    4: It squeezes in Iran on a two front war, which their spewing of anti-Semitic rhetoric combined with their quest for nuclear bomb is a recipe for obvious attention for the sake of world peace.

    Obvously you have a brain and could have figure these things out for yourself.

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