Is a stronger social mission what Apple is missing?

“Apple’s Wall Street watchers wonder if the company will be the first U.S. corporation worth a trillion dollars. And why not? As of this writing, Apple is worth some $850 billion,” Phillip Haid writes for Fast Company.

“Yet, this Apple watcher wonders if a stronger embrace of social impact can help the company cross the trillion dollar threshold,” Haid writes. “In fact, Apple could learn a thing or two from another company that regularly inhabits the lists of most innovative firms: Patagonia. The privately held apparel company has shown us that businesses that are deeply invested in changing consumer and employee expectations can do very well.”

“By contrast, Apple seems to be only half invested. True, Apple has done commendable work in the health care space with products such as HealthKit (monitoring health indicators for the iPhone user), and AC Wellness (test health clinics for Apple employees). And its recent announcement that it is now fully operating on 100% green energy should be applauded,” Haid writes. “But, when looking across the company as a whole, where is its social impact stance? What is the innovative social purpose that drives the company forward? It’s hard to know.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The key words in Haid’s article refer to Patagonia: “Privately held.”

When you have shareholders, you have to answer to them.

If Tim Cook does not care about the ‘bloody ROI’, does he care about the bloody stock price? – March 4, 2014
Apple’s Tim Cook and his dilemma over sustainability and climate change – March 3, 2014
Tim Cook gets angry over shareholder proposal for environmental spending transparency, says those who disagree should get out of Apple stock – March 1, 2014


  1. Thanks to Tim Cook, Apple got too much social mission going at the expense of focus. What is lacking is the focus that Apple used to have before, when iTunes just worked, Mac Mini was created and upgraded. Apple is not magical anymore as it used to be

  2. are defined as “social,” yes, Apple needs to step up their “mission.” If “social mission” equates to deviation from producing great technology and TC putting on his “change-the-world-hat, no AAPL doesn’t need that confusion. The timing of the question posed is kind of grand & problematic as the company has challenges with it’s “stable” of products.

    Apple be focused. Apple tend to all sectors of the business at hand. If a part is considered the past, jettison the product/sector. Tim, yes you are “driving” the wealthiest company in the World, but you are not the guardian of the US’s, or World’s culture.

  3. Here’s a novel idea on how Apple can cross the $1T line … how about concentrating on your core business, not social agendas!

    How about some Pro and mini updates?
    How about an AppleTV remote that doesn’t make people want to rip the thing out of their entertainment center and throw it in the garbage where it belongs?
    How about updates that don’t need to be updated days later or that brick your device?
    How about a smart speaker that is actually smart?

    Yeah, yeah, I know – they sell lots of all of the above … they could sell more if they cared about the end user experience. Something Steve used to know instinctively, but current management is apparently clueless about. Maybe spend some time (and money) developing a decent Marketing Research Group that can help you iron the bugs out of your products before they’re released, instead of just having a “Yes Man” committee rubber stamp every stupid idea they see with an Apple logo on it!

    TC’s Apple = Microsoft 2.0!

  4. This is most likely the dumbest article ever posted. Solyndra, the famous Obama era solar company definitely had a very green environmental focus, till it went bankrupt after enriching many executives with taxpayer money and disappearing into the ether. Please no dumbass social agendas permitted.

  5. Plenty of privately held companies have failed. Sometimes the boss or management group lacks the vision or flexibility to adapt. Who would control Apple in this mythical, privately held version of the company?

    Furthermore, on what basis are you asserting that the “shareholders” are responsible for Apple’s past or current missteps? The CEO, Board of Directors, and senior management team of Apple are responsible for all of it. The buck stops there. I am an Apple shareholder, but I cannot step in and directly change anything by myself. Tens of thousands of other shareholders would have to join me.

    In truth, corporations tend to ignore or oppose the inputs of most shareholders, anyway, unless a sufficiently large coalition can be formed to force the corporation to respond. In general, just a handful of top shareholders have any influence at all on most corporations. Please explain again how this is the fault of the shareholders? After all, you generally blame everything on Tim Cook.

    MDN should not be fostering the insane concept of taking Apple private. Assuming a low premium of only 30% over Apple’s current market valuation, a group of investors would have to come up with at least $1.1T to achieve this feat. In practice, the premium to acquire Apple could be considerably higher. The cash and securities and other assets that are currently part of Apple cannot be used to take it private. Those assets are part of the corporation – the entity owned by the existing shareholders. External funding (separate from the assets of the corporation) are needed to execute a takeover.

  6. I think Apple does a pretty good job at a social mission though I certainly would not mind if Tim came out and made a statement against torture. After all, Apple’s home country being the terrorist nation that it is one that embraces torture and it seems a rarity that anyone deals with it, I mean apart from name calling and whataboutism no one seems to be able to put forth any good reasons as to what makes torture great, how it advances humanity and that’s too bad cause it’s becoming part and parcel of Apple’s home psyche, along with baseball, apple pie and war mongering.

    Still one can’t complain too much it’s nice to have someone speak out on humanitarian issues, seeing as Apple’s home country is now a terrorist nation.

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