Strategic Alliances and Entertainment

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Strategic Alliances and Entertainment
Jobs had the early strategic vision to complement computing with movie entertainment. After founding NeXT, he personally acquired a majority interest in the young movie company Pixar in February 1986. Jobs went on to invest ¼ of his personal wealth into Pixar.

In 1995, Pixar solidified its position within animated movies with the debut of Toy Story. Grossing $358 million worldwide, it became the 3rd-largest grossing animated movie in history. After this success, Jobs took Pixar public and negotiated far better terms with Disney. Later successes included Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. The alliance between Pixar and Disney has tremendous potential for economies of scope. As CEO of Apple and Disney’s largest shareholder, Jobs is the strategic link between Disney, Apple, and Pixar. Opportunities include combining the animated movie expertise of Disney and Pixar, as well as sharing the content of Disney’s ABC or ESPN networks over Apple’s digital offerings. (Burrows, Grover, and Green)

A current example of the fusion between Disney, Jobs, Apple, and technology is video on the iPod. Disney’s Desperate Housewives was one of the first television programs available for purchase and download to the newer video-enabled iPod. There are concerns about whether these synergies will come to fruition. There are fears that the personality and style of Jobs may conflict with Disney, and that Disney CEO Iger could be “Amelioed” -- driven out of office by Jobs in a manner similar to how Jobs drove Amelio out of the CEO post at Apple. (Burrows, Grover, and Green).

On Apple’s New Product Development Strategy
Posted on January 1st, 2010 by daniel
Michael Malone from ABC News wrote an interesting article on Apple’s iPhone and its overall new product development strategy, with interesting strategic lessons for new product development and business in general.

Google Nexus Offers Little Competition to Apple iPhone
Why Google’s New Smartphone Won’t Knock Apple Off Its iPhone Throne COLUMN By MICHAEL S. MALONE, ABC News
Jan. 1, 2010

Whether the marketplace is ready or not, the Big Guns in consumer electronics are about to make their move at the dawn of the New Year.

Next Tuesday, Google is expected to announce its long-rumored Nexus One smartphone. It is undoubtedly designed to run the Google Android operating system for cellphones, which the search giant introduced more than a year ago. Android was envisioned as a major breakthrough in cellphones because it offered an "open" operating system i.e., one that other companies could use and design applications for. At the time, this strategy was compared to that of Microsoft Windows, which broke the market hegemony of Apple’s decidedly non-open OS in the mid-1980s and within a decade, turned Apple into a niche company. This time around, the new Android phones were supposed to break the hegemony of the Apple iPhone.

So far, it hasn’t quite worked out that way with Android. A number of cell phone companies notably Motorola, HTC, and Samsung have adopted Android and seen impressive sales. However, this time around Apple, though still exhibiting much of its old "closed" and proprietary ways, has learned some important lessons over the last 20 years.

For one thing, Apple understands, better perhaps than any company on the planet, the importance of being not only perpetually innovative but with a vast and loyal army of Apple fanatics behind it to regularly take category-busting risks. Thus, the amazing run, beginning a decade ago, of the iMac, MacBook, iPod and iPhone. These landmark (and in the case of the iPod, historic) products not only were ambitious in their goals and beautifully designed, but they also exhibited multiple features that were so innovative that they forced the competition to spend years catching up and by then, Apple had already moved on to the next breakthrough.

Military theorists like to say that the goal of...
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