A different kind of Apple at the core: What would Steve do? We actually don’t know

“This week, Fast Company published a series of interviews with Apple’s executives from Tim Cook to Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi and Bozama Saint John and if there was one point that was clear across the board is it’s that Apple is built on the core principle of “making great products” but the way to deliver that greatness might look different from what it used to,” Carolina Milanesi writes for Techpinions. “This leads many to believe we are dealing with a different company altogether rather than a company that is evolving.”

“Tim Cook said he does not read all the Apple coverage, which means he is possibly spared the many times the ‘Steve would not have done this’ or ‘This would have never happened under Steve’ sentences appear in a commentary,” Milanesi writes. “Aside from the obvious (we actually don’t know what Steve would have done), there is another point many seem to forget — today’s market is very different than it was when Steve Jobs was CEO.”

“Different is not necessarily bad. Tim Cook has a different personality than Steve Jobs and, as we learned from this week’s interviews, a different management style,” Milanesi writes. “Apple is evolving and, in my view, doing it faster than it would have done under Steve Jobs. This is crucial for the long-term play.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has a lot of irons in the fire right now. We fully expect to interesting and very successful results from what Apple is forging today.

Why Apple likes to keep so many secrets – August 11, 2016
A radically different Apple looms; R&D reveals the company’s largest pivot yet is coming – May 11, 2016
Apple’s massive R&D expenditure indicates myriad projects in the pipeline – April 27, 2016
Apple gets much more bang for its R&D buck than Google and other tech companies – November 30, 2015
Massive R&D increase suggests Apple is working on something huge – May 4, 2015

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


  1. One point to consider is that even if Steve were still with us, he’d have evolved with Apple. Apple’s principles haven’t changed under cook. Were he still here he’d be running a much different company than ten years ago and he’d probably be doing it much like it’s being done now.

  2. My answer to the question “What would Steve do?” is this: the same thing. First, he’d have retained Cook as COO and scaled up operations smoothly with only a bump or two along the way. Second, he’d have understood the central importance of the iPhone, and placed more focus on it as the hub, with Macs and the rest being secondary. Third, he’d have pushed the Internet of Things, with a particular interest in health monitoring and a more personal car. Fourth, he’d have hired Ahrendts, for her fashion awareness, impressive retail showcases and tailored customer-centric experiences. And finally, he viewed the BYOD movement as a Trojan Horse to breach the enterprise, and eventually win over past adversaries like IBM, partnering with them.

  3. “…if there was one point that was clear across the board is it’s that Apple is built on the core principle of ‘making great products’…”

    That used to be true.

    Today, the goal is to make Apple great. The premise is that a great Apple will inherently make great products. It’s a false premise.

    In the second Apple iteration (hell, in the early days too) the underlying premise was, “Get a product to the 95% stage and ship it. Then iterate on it and innovate on that until it becomes what everyone knew from the beginning that it could become.” (As an aside, Dell and their ilk were a “Get a product to 80% and ship it. In the next iteration let’s get it to 85%. In the next get it to 87%, And so forth.)

    Now Apple is about getting something to market to try to capture as much of that market as possible. Don’t worry about getting it to a 95% solution. Don’t worry about totally blowing the socks off everyone.

    Sure the original iMac was not perfect, but it was a 95% solution and it surprised everyone — in a good way.
    Sure, the 30” Cinema Display was not perfect, but it was a 95% solution (maybe 98% solution) and it surprised almost everyone.
    Sure the first iPod was only a 95% solution and it took a few iterations to get it close to 100% with several surprises along the way. (Remember Jobs pulling the first nano out of the watch pocket of his jeans with the comment, “I always wondered what this pocket was for.”)
    Sure the iPhone was a 95% solution but it surprised people and took the cell phone world into a new direction.
    And the list goes on.

    Since 2012 what Apple product fits that criterion? (Don’t even dare mention the Apple Watch which is really an iPhone peripheral masquerading as a stand alone device. It was an 80% solution that might get upgraded to an 85% solution by the end of this year.)

    Unless there is a course correction — which I most fervently hope there is within the next year — Apple is headed toward fitting the joke we used to tell about Microsoft products: By version 3.0 it will be usable and good enough. It will never be great.

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