Apple Case II
Apple created a unique way of working which was called the “Apple way”. It was a set of principles with a deep commitment to great products and services at its core. These set of principles can be divided in design thinking, clear development strategy and execution, its CEO as chief innovator, and the rational courage to conduct bold business experiments. The first principle of the Apple way is the most important one and has made the brand as where it is now. Design thinking is a way of how Apple developed his products which was quite the opposite of what competitors did. The goal was to design a computer that both supported and fostered individual work. Apple wanted people to fall in love with their products because of the looks, ease of use and benefits they could receive from it. To reach this goal the focus in Apple’s products was first on what they believe that people would need and want, and how they would interact with their computer. When this was realized the next step in product development came, which were the actual technical aspects of the product. During this process the simplicity in design and use became really important: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, a quote by Steve Jobs. To realize this simplicity, designers worried about the smallest details. These details combined contributes to why people like the products of Apple so much. These detailed designs led to a product development that was the opposite of what competitors were doing. When other organizations see “detail” as adding extra features to their products, Apple eliminated features of their products in order to simplify the design. By creating simple and easy-to-adopt solutions results in a better product experience for the consumer. There was no compromise between simplicity of use and functionality, which made the products of Apple so special. By focusing on the same philosophy (simplicity), it also led to the use and development of other production techniques and technologies, which on their turn resulted in new product innovations. Through these developments in resources and capabilities Apple created a huge advantage over their competitors. The biggest difference is that competitor think that detail is about fashion and surface appearance. The complete product expressed on the outside has to speak for the inside as well.
“Insanely great products”
Innovation, product development and execution have been deeply intertwined with the history of Apple and the co-founder Steve Jobs’ pivotal influence on it. Apple exemplified the way of how people could (and should) work with their computing device. This is a powerful vision resulted in that Apple’s computers retained a considerable amount of their design integrity, and a fanatical “fan” base during their entire existence. During the period between ’85 and ’97, when Steve Jobs had to leave the company, Apple changed its course in order to stay close to the upcoming competition. Competition became strong because of the developments in ‘cloning’. Apple had zero penetration in the ‘cloning’ and the business market. A licensing agreement in ’97 resulted eventually in 20% of the Mac unit sales. During this period the creative technology development became more ‘traditional’ which lead to many new products, but the rapid proliferation of models confused customers and increased complexity at Apple. Working according to a devised system was something that didn’t work for Apple. Apple needed to go back to the process which was concentrating on the things that were really important. During the absence of Steve Jobs Apple became too big and slow. On his return he slimmed down the company to its initial shape and focused again on the innovation process. Soon after, many new insanely great products rolled out of the factories. This was because the core approach to development remained consistent: working...