Apple: So Good They Make Their Own Rules

March 23, 2008


Being an avid Mac user articles and other forms of media that pertain to Apple ALWAYS spark my interest.

The past week two articles got my attention. How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong , and Breaking The Rules: Apple Succeeds By Defying 5 Core Valley Principles, both by Leander Kahney.

Apple has been doing everything right by doing everything wrong. Period. They definitely don’t act like any other large corporation. Where as every other large corporation has produced products to suit many different companies and applications, Apple in all its wisdom, saw the opportunity to grab an extremely large target market by becoming self sufficient. By producing products that work amazingly well (and rightly so) with their other products Apple has been able to increase their revenue with products like the iPhone, iPod etc… without the need to outsource much of their products.

Leander Kahney was able to come up with Apple’s unofficial principles that make Apple who they are:

1. COOPERATEValley RuleEmbrace open platforms. Software should be decoupled from hardware so users can access any program or data from any device. Example: Google’s Android, an operating system that will run on a variety of handsets from different manufacturers.Apple RuleDesign software to work on your own hardware — and not on anyone else’s. The OS X experience is made only for the Mac; iPhone apps function only on iPhones. And customers don’t seem to mind. Apparently, they’re willing to trade freedom for a kick-ass product.2. COMMUNICATEValley RuleTell your fans what you’re up to so they feel a connection to your company. Hiring difficulties? New strategies? Digestive problems? Blog ’em! Customers will feel more invested and more loyal. Plus, their comments could give you some good ideas.Apple RuleNever talk to the press. Shut down rumor blogs. Threaten to sue children who send you their ideas. Never leak product news until you’re ready to announce it. Then use that discipline to create buzz and win coverage with every announcement.3. PLAY NICEValley RuleDon’t exploit your market-leader status. Software should compete on its merits, not its ability to shut out rivals. Microsoft earned an antitrust suit and decades of ill will by muscling PC makers into bundling its operating system and browser onto their machines.Apple RuleHardball tactics rule! Every Mac is preloaded with iTunes, which becomes the user’s default music program. And most iTunes purchases can be played only on iPods, creating a closed loop that has proven tough for competitors — and music labels — to challenge.4. LOVE YOUR CUSTOMERSValley RuleMake sure to lavish affection on your clients, and try to ensure that every one of them has a positive experience. Anyone can post a withering review on Yelp or Amazon, so you can’t afford to let a single complaint go unaddressed.Apple RulePlease yourself, not your fans. Release iMacs without floppy drives. Release MacBook Airs without optical drives. Cut the price of an iPhone by $200 two months after its introduction; when early adopters complain, offer them a $100 gift certificate.5. CODDLE YOUR EMPLOYEESValley RuleSince the best ideas bubble up from within the ranks, encourage autonomy by allowing workers free time to focus on their personal projects. Also, shower them with perks like free food and massages to make them feel special.Apple RuleMotivate through fear. Don’t be afraid to scream. Threaten to fire them. Withhold praise until it’s truly deserved. Go ahead and bring them to tears. As long as you can inspire them with your sense of mission, they’ll consider this the best job they’ve ever had.

Some of these rules/principles may seem harsh and may be over exaggerated.

Apple’s customer service is second to none. They treat people like people. Casual and easy to talk to, it makes you want to call customer service just to have a chat.

Its not news to anyone that Apple (or Steve Jobs) is extremely secretive. But this works to their advantage. By not talking to the press or leaking any information about upcoming advancements in technology or products, Apple is able to control a lot of information about them. By only announcing new technologies about a product days before its release, they are able to create incredible amounts of hype, and really know how to get everyone talking.

Apple’s corporate model is definitely one of a kind, but incredibly risky. Maintaining this model will make Apple a powerhouse, however if another company tried to adopt it, it would lead to imminent failure.

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3 Responses to “Apple: So Good They Make Their Own Rules”

  1. wattsy Says:

    I like the idea of Apple having good customer service second to none. We have a Dell computer at home, and the customer service agents are very friendly on the phone. We have extended warranty on our computer, just mainly to have the piece of mind that our computer will always work. Although, I do not like how they go through all these diagnostic tests over the phone to figure out what is wrong with your computer. We paid for extra warranty for computer technicians to come to our house to fix our computer. It is rather annoying talking to a consumer service representative for a long time, trying to diagnose problems. I realize it costs money for the company to send people out to fix your computer, but are the consumers not the most important person?
    I know people with Apple computers who never have problems with them. For that reason I will get an apple the next time I purchase a computer.

  2. romizuddin Says:

    Personally i haven’t use Dell or Apple. But some of my friends use del and they have been fed up with their customer service. They have called to dell support lots of time but the service was useless. So, I would rather to have Apple so that i could just walk down to a local apple store.

  3. wattsy Says:

    I agree, the first time I phoned them up with a problem on our computer they diagnosed the problem wrong. They made me delete everything off the hardrive because I think they thought there was a virus. We had just got the computer a few months earlier, and followed the directions exactly on dealing with where to put all the plugs. The directions/diagram for where to put the plugs in the montitor didn’t really match up 100% to our actual monitor. The problem was still not fixed, they later realized there was a plug in the wrong spot in the monitor. The problem could have been avoided if we had a better diagram to follow on where to put all the plugs. All my pictures and everything were deleted of the computer.


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