“If GE can build jet engines, tidal energy farms, freight rail data systems, mining equipment, and medical devices, how is it that the world’s most valuable company can’t find the time to make a full line of personal computers and PC peripherals alongside its market-leading smartphones and tablets?” Matthew Yglesias writes for Vox. “The answer goes back to Apple’s corporate structure, which, though fairly common for a startup, is extremely unusual for an enormous company.”
“There are two main ways to structure a business,” Yglesias writes. “You can build divisions that are built around particular lines of business or you can build functional groups that are built around particular kinds of expertise.”
“If you look at [Apple Inc.’s] executive team you’ll find that there’s no senior vice president for iPhone who works alongside a senior vice president for Mac. Nobody is in charge of Macs or iPhones or iPads or really anything else, because Apple is almost entirely functional,” Yglesias writes. “Most CEOs do not attempt to manage enormous global companies with purely functional structures, because even though it sounds good, it’s extraordinarily difficult to make it work in practice… Functional Apple struggles to walk and chew gum at the same time.”
“Even though regularly updating desktop Macs should not be that difficult, objectively speaking, it tends not to happen in part because it’s not anyone’s job to make it happen,” Yglesias writes. “The functional organization values collaboration on top corporate priorities above all else, and that means basically everything comes ahead of desktop Macs.”
Tons more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yup.
What if Apple were to spin off the Mac by creating a subsidiary – Macintosh Inc. – so that the resulting company could focus solely on the Mac and give it the level of attention it currently lacks but so richly deserves? — MacDailyNews, November 23, 2016
And, as we wrote a year ago:
Sometimes Apple, the world’s most profitable and most valuable company, still operates as if they only have five guys from NeXT working around the clock trying to do all the work on a shoestring budget.
Can’t manage to have a compatible Remote app or Apple Music-capable Siri for the Apple TV launch… Can’t have enough Pencils and Keyboards for the iPad Pro launch. Seriously? Can’t have any stock on hand for two months after the so-called the Apple Watch launch date. Can’t update their professional Mac for nearly two years and counting?
Why are these amateurish mistakes and lapses happening with startling regularity? You know, besides mismanagement?
Oh, you say, but Apple is making tons of money! Why, yes, they certainly are!
Listen, let’s be honest, Steve Ballmer could’ve generated the same kind of money “running” Apple Inc. given the massive momentum Steve Jobs handed over at his death. Sometimes, in fact, it looks like Steve Ballmer is running Apple. Although, no, it doesn’t really, because even Ballmer would have updated the Mac Pro by now, made sure he had enough Apple Watches ready so as not to pretty much totally kill launch momentum, and also had enough Pencils and Keyboards on hand for the iPad Pro launch. Of course, Ballmer would have never had the handle on the big picture that Tim Cook has – our issues with launches under Cook have to do solely with launch supplies and software polish.
We’re coming up on two years now (this December 19th) since the Mac Pro debuted with no updates which, along with the rest of the string of snafus (going back to John Browett, Apple Maps, no iMacs for Christmas 2012, no iPad 2 units for launch, etc.), is what understandably prompts this sort of “joke” and “failure” talk and the feeling that Apple is a bit sloppy in recent years.