Microsoft and Apple are both great companies on very different paths. One is a runaway success and the other is a behemoth struggling to find its footing. And unless you have a once in a generation product like the iPhone, trying to emulate Apple would be foolish, you need to be more like Microsoft.
If you look at your situation objectively, you will find that you are in the Microsoft camp, rather than the Apple camp, and that’s OK.
What I want to draw your attention to, is what Microsoft is doing to get back on track. Microsoft is giving a Master Class on the whole lean start-up agile movement. If you ignore its missteps over the past decade (wow that does not sound good), and look at what its trying to do, you have to be impressed.
They are developing new products and ideas, trying to find the right fit. Sure they had missteps, but they are learning from them and using those lessons to improve their products. Windows 8 was a huge risk and a limited success, but they incorporated user feedback and iterated, making Windows 8.1 a much better product. The same can be said for the Surface, I am sure the next one will be much better. Look at what happened to Xbox, the first one was OK, but their next version (Xbox 360) blew away the competition.
Microsoft is constantly trying new things outside of its comfort zone, and when you do that you are guaranteed to stumble. At the same time, they are learning from their mistakes and making their products better, and you should do the same. Try something new, listen to customer feedback and make your products better. So here’s to rooting for Microsoft and start ups everywhere.
Apple does not have a Samsung or Android problem, it has a Windows 95 problem.
Apple recently unveiled its new iPhone and iPad models, to a collective “meh”. The stock sold off and is poised to continue moving lower (though it has recovered recently based on strong sales). The market is telling Apple that it is not innovative enough and that its need to do much more, and within that lies the crux of Apple’s problem.
When Apple first released the iPhone/iPad, it was an unheralded success. It was the result of a once in a generation confluence of events. The players in the market at that time were sub-standard and there was an appetite for something new and exciting, and the market forces lined up just right. This was very similar to when Microsoft released Windows 95, whose success can also be attributed to a once in a generation confluence of events.
The problem with such things is that, everything that follows is perceived as “not as innovative” and “meh”. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate such events. So now Apple is left with iterating on its products, similar to Windows 98, Me, XP and the much beloved Vista.
Apple in time will need to move away from the iPhone and iPad, as they will become a commodity. They will need to search for new markets and products. Will the iWatch save them, I doubt it. The iWatch is being thrown in their face, by the people wanting to re-create a once in a generation event, but it does not work that way.
There is no doubt that another one of these events will come again, and a company will once again re-capture our collective imagination, unfortunately it most likely will not be Apple.