“You’d think something important had happened,” Bob Lefsetz writes for The Lefsetz Letter regarding the impending Apple purhcase of Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. “The overanalysis is mind-boggling. Tim Cook is an operations guy, he’s clueless, the company has no vision and this is evidence of it. Steve Jobs was famous for saying one thing and doing another, decrying this and then doing exactly that. Anybody with a brain knew that streaming was eclipsing downloads. Except at Apple, where they were adhering to Jobs’s philosophy. But it turns out Apple had no Plan B, no streaming service ready to be launched when necessary. It’s like they never read Clayton Christensen’s ‘Innovator’s Dilemma,’ despite it being vaunted in the tech press for over a decade. If you rest on your laurels, you’re gonna be history tomorrow.”
“Yes, this is about music streaming. Do you really think Apple wants to own a headphone company, one built upon fashion? Yes, Angela Ahrendts will figure out a way to sell more Beats headphones, she’s a marketing guru, but that’s the problem with Apple today, it’s all marketing and no innovation/vision,” Lefsetz writes. “Apple still won’t own music streaming.”
“We no longer live in an Apple world. Apple dominated music because of the seamless interface of the iPod and iTunes, with the iTunes Store the glue holding it all together. Apple no longer has a market monopoly, and the company is too stupid to strive for this. End game with the iPhone is death (or a niche product with declining software, which IS death),” Lefsetz writes. “We’ve seen this movie a zillion times before, most famously with the Macintosh. Apple triumphed in this century by dominating, first with the iPod, then with the iPhone and then with the iPad. As that dominance erodes, you come up with a new dominant product, one that hopefully ties all your others together, so far Tim Cook has failed to do this.”
“If Jimmy Iovine goes to Apple, more power to him. But that will indicate the lunatics have taken over the asylum, Apple should first and foremost be about tech, Jimmy is at best a marketer. This would mean Apple is mature, and you know what happens with mature tech companies,” Lefsetz writes. “Jimmy has created nothing other than wealth. The headphones are mediocre and Beats Music is a me-too service. There’s no story here. Other than a desperate company making a deal with someone with something they need.”
“Who will carry the mantle of Steve Jobs? Certainly not Cook and Ive, possibly no one. But Jobs knew how to market, better than anyone, although Iovine is somewhat close. And Jobs knew timing was everything, to jump in when the public was ready. And Jobs knew you had to constantly innovate, but take few chances. That’s what’s bugging the analysts, that this is the chance Cook took. But they’re not looking deep enough, the guy just doesn’t get it! He’s an operations freak. That’s like asking the studio booker to make the record!” Lefsetz writes. “Creative companies must be run by creative people, never forget that… Success is about vision, not raw talent, Steve Wozniak was the tech genius of the Apple II, but without Steve Jobs, he was nowhere. It appears that without Steve Jobs, Apple is nowhere.”
Tons more, including mention of Van Halen vs. Van Hagar, in the full article – recommended for the writing and some of the ideas – here.
MacDailyNews Take: There’s much more in the full article (really, it’s a list); some of it right*, some of it close**, some of it not so much***, and some of it completely wrong****. (And not a word about Eddy Cue, whose failure to execute – subpar iTunes Radio, music subscriptions or lack thereof, no major content deals for Apple’s “iTV” – is very likely the impetus for this deal in the first place).
We repeat, with utmost confidence: Those who underestimate Tim Cook’s Apple do so at their own risk.
You haven’t seen anything, yet!
*”Apple didn’t want the headphones. They wanted the streaming music service. Jimmy insisted upon selling the whole thing.”
**”People will forget about this story in a matter of weeks.”
***”Beats ‘curation’ was a marketing smoke screen, a dollop of fluff made to make the company look attractive.”
****”Tim Cook is an operations guy, he’s clueless, the company has no vision.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook makes break from managerial style of Steve Jobs – May 12, 2014
Analyst Sacconaghi on Apple buying Beats: ‘We struggle with the rationale for this deal’ – May 12, 2014
Cody Willard: Apple’s Beats buy is just stupid
– May 12, 2014
Apple may unveil Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre executive appointments at WWDC – May 12, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pursuit of Beats seen presaging more takeovers – May 12, 2014
Former eMusic CEO explains why Apple wants to buy Beats – May 12, 2014
Apple’s deep ties with Jimmy Iovine key driver of Beats deal – May 12, 2014
Removal of Dr. Dre video about Apple-Beats deal likely means acquisition is real and imminent – May 10, 2014
Game changer: Apple buying Beats could radically transform the digital music business – May 9, 2014
If Beats deal happens, Apple is acquiring a fad, not quality, and that is troubling – May 9, 2014
If Apple’s really buying Beats, here’s hoping it’s brilliant in a way which isn’t immediately obvious – May 9, 2014
The reason for Apple’s $3.2 billion interest in Beats? Spotify – May 9, 2014
Apple buying Beats Electronics: Its best idea since the iPad? – May 9, 2014
Why would Apple want to blow $3.2 billion on Beats Electronics? – May 8, 2014
Apple in talks to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion – May 8, 2014