Invincible Apple: 10 lessons from the coolest company on earth

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadApple’s “surge over the past few years has resembled a space-shuttle launch — a series of rapid, tightly choreographed explosions that leave everyone dumbfounded and smiling. The whole thing has happened so quickly, and seemed so natural, that there has been little opportunity to understand what we have been witnessing,” Farhad Manjoo writes for Fast Company.

“The company, its leader, and its products have become cultural lingua franca,” Manjoo writes. “Dell wants to be the Apple for business; Zipcar the Apple for car sharing. Industries such as health care and clean energy search for their own Steve Jobs, while comedian Bill Maher says the government would be better run if the Apple CEO were head of state. (The Justice Department and FTC, which are both investigating Apple’s tactics, might disagree.)”

Manjoo writes, “This shorthand is useful but tends to encourage a shallow notion of what it takes to emulate Apple. And Apple doesn’t delineate the key factors of its success. Those principles are more closely guarded than its product pipeline.How does one become the ‘Apple of [insert industry here]?’ After speaking with former employees, current partners, and others who have watched Apple for many years, it’s clear that the answers center around discipline, focus, long-term thinking, and a willingness to flout the rules that govern everybody else’s business. It’s an approach that’s difficult to discern and tougher to imitate. But everyone wants to give it a try. Here, then, is our report on the Apple playbook.”

10 lessons from the coolest company on earth:
• Go Into Your Cave
• It’s Okay to Be King
• Transcend Orthodoxy
• Just Say No
• Serve Your Customer. No, Really
• Everything Is Marketing
• Kill the Past
• Turn Feedback Into Inspiration
• Don’t Invent, Reinvent
• Play by Your Own Clock

Full article here.

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


  1. @ChrissyOne
    I’m surprised that section didn’t mention the Newton, which was an idea too advanced for its time, only to be resurrected now in the form of the iPhone and iPad.

  2. Steve needs to call the Apple Store in Plano, TX and remnd them about serving your customers. The iPhone launch is a mess. People with reservations waiting in line for 5 hours or longer. My friend in Hawaii said the Apple Store only opened to people with reservations and then allowed walk ups to buy around 10 am. My friend was in and at home with his iPhone in about an hour.

  3. Apple’s marketing seems to be a by-product of who they are and why they do what they do. They just want to make great products. Apple’s marketing efforts never seem forced (at least lately).

  4. • Go Into Your Cave
    • Just Say No
    • Don’t Invent, Reinvent
    • Kill the Past
    The other 6? Those I understand. Those being:
    • It’s Okay to Be King
    • Transcend Orthodoxy
    • Serve Your Customer. No, Really
    • Everything Is Marketing
    • Turn Feedback Into Inspiration
    • Play by Your Own Clock
    Maybe the market doesn’t (yet) understand that Apple is King, that will become clear. And Dell, at least, may NEVER understand “Serve Your Customer”.
    Still … Apple Invents as well as Reinvents. And Apple doesn’t Kill the Past so much as sheds excess baggage. Something the Windows 8 designers need to understand.

  5. Manjoo is the blog version of MSFT, not only did he plagiarized the list without clear reference, he lost me at the first paragraph with this old line: “…under that of Microsoft — the giant that buried Apple and then saved it from almost certain demise with a $150 million investment in 1997.” Reading or citing him is certainly no way to become the “Apple of [your industry]”.

  6. I read this kind of article and laugh. I was jazzed about Apple in the early 80s. Steve Jobs has always been amazing. I’ve never had any computer but a Mac. Never lost the faith, never let go of the Light. The magic has always been strong and ascendent in Apple.

  7. Eliminating features also helps build buzz. “The great thing about omitting a feature that people want is that then they start clamoring for it,” says Reid, the former Apple engineer. “When you give it to them in the next version, they’re even happier somehow.” Apple has pulled off this trick time and again, most recently with the iPhone OS 4. It includes multitasking, a feature that customers began asking for in 2007, intensifying their pleas after Palm debuted multitasking in its WebOS last year.

    — Ahh, so they do purposely hold back features.

  8. This needs to be broadcast with the sound of very loud vuvuzelas:

    Microsoft did not save Apple – ever. Apple had several (don’t remember the exact number) of BILLIONS of dollars in tis treasury when M$ invested in the “business products division” (more like an infringement reconciliation, if I remember).

    MICROSOFT is not out to save anyone. All they care about is themselves; even above their customers. Otherwise, they would produce a product that does not have so many flaws. Period.

    As soon as I read the bit about M$ saving Apple, I stopped reading. I will go back and read more but this Fahad Nanjoo doesn’t know his okolee from a hole in the ground. (look up okolee if you can’t figure it out).


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