Apple’s stupendous success: The top 10 reasons from CEO Tim Cook

“While most companies today would love to be able to claim growth rates in the high single digits, Apple’s revenue last quarter grew 73%,” Bob Evans writes for SAP. “How did Apple achieve that?”

Evans asks, “How does it manage to create products that outperform competitors’? How does it create a booming retail business while other retailers are retrenching? How does it pounce on publicly available new technologies like Siri and turn that into a worldwide phenomenon? How does it rack up, quarter after quarter, financial results that are so impressive that they seem almost unencumbered by the same laws of physics and marketplace reality to which the rest of us mere mortals are subject?”

Evans writes, “Apple Tim Cook offered some revealing glimpses into Apple’s strategic thinking and core philosophies at a recent Goldman Sachs investors conference…”

10: Embrace your inner cannibal
9: Invest heavily in the right things while pinching pennies everywhere else
8: Pursue innovative distribution models: a.k.a. ‘think different’
7: Realize the iPad has triggered the onset of a post-PC world
6: Exploit the ‘halo effect’
5: The China factor makes it first among equals in emerging markets
4: Dazzle and delight your developer community
3: Don’t make customers pull their hair out
2: Repeat after me: ‘Great products trump everything else—including price’
1: Keep Steve Jobs’ vision burning inside terrific people

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. He doesn’t try to mention a key factor, probably hoping to keep his list short and not encourage the competition.

    Keep looking toward where the ball will be in 3-5-10 years.

    1. BoC said: “Keep looking toward where the ball will be in 3-5-10 years.”

      In my opinion that’s included in reason nº 1. I would add: Make universal appeal products that just work, i.e. no “niche” products like pink laptops for women (like Dell did), no business people oriented products with password or fingerprint access, no gaming computers with strobe ights, no 17-button mice, etc. In other words: Bauhaus.

        1. Maybe that’s true but I don’t think Apple is pursuing “market share”, just great products. Also, it seems Apple is not really interested by gaming (except up to a point on iOS).

        2. You may get your wish now that it’s simple OS X. However, they can’t market an OS X-Box, now, can they? But the core OS is there and it’s no longer tied to the computer, so the sky’s the limit. Maybe we’ll see LG refrigerators and construction equipment with “Powered by OS X” badges on the front.

        3. Doubtful.
          There is a very small minority of users who use their computer as a gaming device.

          Focus on iOS gaming and bringing it to the TV to compete with the PS and XBox.

      1. I appreciate clean design as much as anybody else, but I have learned to appreciate the fingerprint reader on my work-supplied Dell laptop. Access to similar functionality wouldn’t be out of place on a MBP or MBA.

    2. It’s not a ball, it’s a puck. Go to where the puck will be, not where it is.

      You southern North Americans, apologies to Alaskans, will never understand The Canadian Game.

      1. That’s what happens when someone quotes Steve Ballmer quoting Steve Jobs quoting Wayne Gretzky. Like the game of ‘telephone’, the recursive paraphrasing aggregates (and for some, also aggravates.)

        Not that I understand the game of Hockey Pucky – I don’t.

  2. DeBono: ‘Because the sequence of arrival of information in a self-maximizing system has so powerful an influence on the way it is arranged some sort of restructuring of patterns is necessary in order to make the best use of the information imprisoned within them. –
    In a self-maximizing system with a memory the arrangement of information must always be less than the best possible arrangement.’

    Perhaps MS settles for less than best possible ‘arrangements’ of their code, requiring many more steps by the user (us), while the folks at Appl rework information until it is the best possible arrangement, allowing ease of usage. MS is lazy.

  3. Compared to the hundreds of deadbeat companies who tanked the world economy, Apple has one overriding focus that all of these decadent biznizz companies have lost:

    Focus On The Customer Experience.

    Compared to Apple, most other major US companies are downright ABUSIVE. Thus they fail through their own self-destruction. 😕

  4. Given that the MacRumors site has the transcript of what Tim Cook said, why do I need a Forbes writer to synthesize what HE happens to feel are the ten most salient points of the interview. I think most people that follow Apple are fully capable of reading Mr. Cook’s responses and deciding for themselves the level of import that should be attached to each subject he covered. I don’t need it filtered through the prism of a journalist, any one of which may be bringing their own preconceptions or preferences into the process.

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