FORUMS: list search recent posts

Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Walter Soyka
Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:14:44 pm

I just ran across an interesting blog post:

http://www.seekomega.com/2012/01/why-every-company-needs-to-be-more-like-ib...


Author Mark Fidelman touches on how IBM and Apple have reversed their Big Brother and underdog roles portrayed in Apple's "1984" commercial.

He then goes on to describe the differences between Apple's "genius-led, culture of fear" and IBM's "social business culture" which "fosters innovation through co-creation." He suggests that Apple's command-and-control culture makes them subject to the possibility of an "innovation vacuum" and may make their current incredible performance unsustainable, while IBM's social culture allows more sustainable performance by distributing innovation throughout the enterprise instead of centralizing it at the top.

It's pretty buzzword-heavy, but the notion of centralized innovation versus co-creation with customers struck me as one of the primary differences between FCP Classic and FCPX.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Craig Shields
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:53:58 pm

I would agree with that as it relates to their software like FCP. We are seeing some big names leaving the software because of it. I would disagree as it relates to their other technology. It's really hard to say with the numbers they put up every quarter that they are doing something wrong. As it's been said on this forum a number of times "if it ain't broke...".



Return to posts index

Craig Shields
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 6:22:02 pm

Also, should we continue to hold Apple to that 1984 ad? Company's change and their philosophies. Look at what Volkswagen used to say about their cars.





Return to posts index


Steve Connor
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 6:47:08 pm

Problem is the argument falls down when you consider iOS Apps which certainly "foster innovation through co-creation" If you consider App Developers to be business partners then Apple probably have as many as IBM. Despite the App store being a "walled garden" there is still plenty of room for innovation there.

"FCPX Agitator"


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 7:53:37 pm

[Steve Connor] "Problem is the argument falls down when you consider iOS Apps which certainly "foster innovation through co-creation" If you consider App Developers to be business partners then Apple probably have as many as IBM. Despite the App store being a "walled garden" there is still plenty of room for innovation there."

I don't agree with the article in its entirety myself, so I have no stake in trying to defend it, but I do think anyone who has ever jailbroken their phone or had their app rejected from the store might not see this the same way that you do.

The part of this piece that really resonated with me was the idea that Apple is no longer the scrappy underdog or subversive force, fighting against an externally imposed homogeneous world view; they are now the Big Brother character, imposing a homogeneous world view on their customers. It may be a nice world view, and it may even be better than what we had before, but it's still very much top-down.

I haven't figured out who the hammer-thrower is yet.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:40:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I haven't figured out who the hammer-thrower is yet."

Google and the Hammer will have an ad on it

"FCPX Agitator"


Return to posts index


Andrew Richards
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:28:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I do think anyone who has ever jailbroken their phone or had their app rejected from the store might not see this the same way that you do."

I think his point was that Apple built a platform for innovation and they let much of the really cool innovation happen from without, while cultivating their platform. It is the difference between iPhone 1.0 with exclusively Apple apps on it and the iPhone today with over a half million apps, some of which are very innovative.

[Walter Soyka] "The part of this piece that really resonated with me was the idea that Apple is no longer the scrappy underdog or subversive force, fighting against an externally imposed homogeneous world view; they are now the Big Brother character, imposing a homogeneous world view on their customers."

Be careful not to construe market cap with market share. Apple is hugely profitable, but still holds less than 10% of the desktop/laptop market (though they claim 20% of the sales recently), 10% of the phone market, and only dominate in tablets if you consider them a discrete market segment.

Maybe they don't "feel" like the underdog anymore, but by the numbers they have a lot of room to grow.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:03:46 pm

[Craig Shields] "Also, should we continue to hold Apple to that 1984 ad? Company's change and their philosophies. Look at what Volkswagen used to say about their cars."

Volkswagen never thought that their cars were ugly, nor that their cars were lemons.

Bill Bernbach's iconic VW ads of the the 1960s were intentionally ironic. The campaign was meant to draw attention to the advertising itself, using the public's disdain for consumerism and mistrust of car ads to call attention to VW.

And this actually sold cars!

I don't imagine Apple sees themselves as Big Brother -- but they might see all of us wearing the same orange shorts now.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Craig Shields
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:40:34 pm

They didn't call their cars lemons but they did call them ugly. The first line in that ad says "that it may not be much to look at.." The point is, they got into the game with a strategy of practicality but they have long departed from that. Apple got into the game playing the underdog and now they are one of the richest companies in the world. The underdog role no longer fits.



Return to posts index


Walter Soyka
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:04:32 pm

[Craig Shields] "They didn't call their cars lemons but they did call them ugly. The first line in that ad says "that it may not be much to look at..""

Read the rest of the ad. "After a while you get to like so much about the VW, you even get to like what it looks like."

Also, Google "lemon vw" and you'll see an ad showing a VW Bug with the headline "Lemon." The copy, of course, explains that VW keeps the lemons so you can get the plums.

The point of both of these ad was to insinuate something shocking about the car, something that was so unexpected that it encouraged people to actually read the rest of the ad. (When these ads were run, VW still had a WWII-era stigma and faced an uphill climb in the US market; just a few years after this campaign, VW was instead associated with peace and love.)

Apple's ad wasn't just meant to get attention with a quick, ironic shock. It was a statement of Apple's values -- the things the company stood for.

Do you think Apple still stands for the same things they did almost 30 years ago? Do they still provide unique value by allowing their users free self-expression? Do they still make tools for the crazy ones, the round pegs in square holes?

I don't know, myself. I could make arguments either way. I'd have to give this a lot more thought.


[Craig Shields] "Apple got into the game playing the underdog and now they are one of the richest companies in the world. The underdog role no longer fits."

I agree -- I'm just pointing out that not only are they no longer the underdog, they now risk actually becoming what they originally fought against.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Craig Shields
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:15:06 pm

Hey Walter I think we're on the same team here but just seeing things slightly different. The word Lemon was just to draw you in. They were actually praising the car of course. However, I can post a few ads were they refer to it as "ugly". That's what people said about it back then. I do not believe they thought it was a physically beautiful car. The beauty was the gas mileage and blah blah blah. But I totally see your point about Apple.



Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:27:26 pm

Craig, I apologize if I came across as too argumentative. I'll switch from coffee to tea and cede the floor.

I did mean the question about Apple's values sincerely, not rhetorically, though.

I'd be very curious to hear people's opinions about whether Apple's raison d'être has changed now that they've achieved mass-market success (again).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index


Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:36:10 pm

[Walter Soyka] "... Apple's raison d'être ..."

... summarized in a handy chart.




(via arstechnica - a bit out of date but the point stands).


Franz.


Return to posts index

Thomas Frank
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 8, 2012 at 12:28:59 am

[Walter Soyka] "Volkswagen never thought that their cars were ugly, nor that their cars were lemons. "

hmm they are still ugly! lol
Like to compare VW with Apple check this one out:
VW Group is
Volkswagen, Audi (Auto Union), Seat, Skoda and many more.
I wouldn't so not be surprise to a similar tradition in the computer world.

Yeah VW are ugly except for there Passat CC.



Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:14:49 pm

[Craig Shields] "I would agree with that as it relates to their software like FCP. We are seeing some big names leaving the software because of it. I would disagree as it relates to their other technology. It's really hard to say with the numbers they put up every quarter that they are doing something wrong. As it's been said on this forum a number of times "if it ain't broke..."."

I absolutely agree with this -- but I think it highlights one of the differences between marketing a product to professionals (who rely on the product class to produce their work and earn a living) and consumers or non-professionals (who may use the product in their work, but whose work does not depend on it).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index


Alexander Higgins
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:55:56 pm

Having close friends who have worked at IBM over the years, all they could say was that IBM is structural and socially identical to the armed services. There is a very rigid chain of command and if you don't know your place you will end up in the BRIG. It works, look how dominant our armed services are.

Anyway, that is what APPLE and GOOGLE for that matter where trying to change. My friend said if you aren't willing to say "YES SIR," "NO SIR" and be, as he quoted, "AN OLD SONNA A B#TCH" IBM isn't the place for you.

For what its worth, its just a different kind of tech company, IMHO totally different than APPLE, GOOGLE and the rest of the consumer based tech companies. IBM is more like GE than Apple.


Return to posts index

Franz Bieberkopf
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 6:43:24 pm

Where to start with this … I'm no business or marketing student but I think I've read a few things recently that are germane - though this might not be as coherent as it could be.

I think it's important to note that Apple seems to have approached both FCP and FCPX in terms of cost - they offer them as cheap alternatives to what is out there. Is it an accepted given that "Apple doesn't compete on features" or do I need to find a cite … someone help me out here.

There was an interesting article about Google Plus a while back - talking about features vs. products. It seems to me that apple's strategy (again, in a consumer market) is to shift video editing more to a feature of their platform, less a product on its own. As has been repeated many times here, Apple is a hardware company (and a media distribution company but that's another topic).

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9222547/Why_Google_will_become_Googl...

But the root of the discussion is really about innovation - whether FCPX is an as-of-yet unrecognized innovation (some would say "revolution") or a failure. I'm thinking about this article from a "Shake Insider" who was reflecting on FCPX by looking back on the way the Shake acquisition was handled. He recounts how:

"… Steve told everybody point-blank that we/Apple were going to focus on giving them powerful tools that were far more cost-effective than what they were accustomed to… but that the relationship between them and Apple wasn’t going to be something where they’d be driving product direction anymore."

http://digitalcomposting.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/x-vs-pro/

I've been bothered by the much referenced Gretzky quote that Steve Jobs apparently used (cite, anyone?) about "skating to where the puck will be, not where it is". It is, of course, a variation on the Henry Ford quote. It's bothered me because I've seen Apple's last 10 years as a slow transformation into what they really aspired to be: the American Sony. The quote that Jobs was really echoing was Akio Morita, Sony's founder.

In his 1986 book "Made In Japan" (in discussing the Sony Walkman, I believe - but it may have just been a general idea) he said:

“There was no need for market research. The public does not know what is possible. We do.”

(As an aside, I think the a more extensive comparison of Apple and Sony is probably quite interesting as they have a professional video division and are also involved in media distribution - but that is for another day …)

However, I've posted all of this just to introduce the article that I thought was relevant to the discussion. That article is here:

http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2011/03/16/innovation-matching-nee...

Ralph Ohr is speaking to the cliché I've talked about above (He is actually quoting a marketing article by Lance A. Bettencourt)

“The myth that customers cannot articulate their needs is perpetuated by innovation success stories such as the microwave, the Sony Walkman and (more recently) the Apple iPod and iPhone. The story goes something like this: “If you had asked customers, they couldn’t have told you they needed the iPhone. Therefore, it must be true that customers cannot articulate what they need.” But there’s the rub: However brilliant it may be, the iPhone is not a customer need. The iPhone – like the microwave and Walkman before it – is a solution to a customer need. When companies get solutions and customer needs confused, it confuses the role of the customer and the company in the innovation process. Customers articulate their needs; it is up to the company to create a solution. … When customer needs are defined in a manner that distinguishes them from solutions, not only can customers articulate their needs, but those needs become the valued foundation of the innovation process requires.”


One of the things that I like about this is that it is clear about how to judge innovation. Something is not innovative simply because it is new or different. To call something "innovative" is to judge - to assess how it addresses problems and needs.


Franz.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 7:41:25 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "One of the things that I like about this is that it is clear about how to judge innovation. Something is not innovative simply because it is new or different. To call something "innovative" is to judge - to assess how it addresses problems and needs.
"


Still kinda roped schedule-wise, so I'm skipping the above threads (as much as I yearn to weigh in!) and just taking a second to recount an experience from earlier today.

I'm showing a client a piece of simple animation I created in Motion in order to explain a company process for them. It has a logo buried in the animations. The client immediately says "how many days will it take and how much will it cost us to revise the animation with different company logos each time, because we have probably 50 clients I like to pitch this to and I'd love to brand it for each one."

The point is that without my having forced myself to spend my own uncompensated time understanding the nature of the tool, I wouldn't have a way to even judge the question properly. In the old "agency" model, I would have called the sales manager or the creative director to quote it out.

Now those people aren't involved. On the plus side, they're not sucking up my dollars when times are slow, but it also means I have to be conversant with rigging motion graphics in order to satisfy my client's desire for a realistic number.

I'm reminded of that because In the posted article, as interesting as I found it - I kept seeing it as the writer having a single construct of what "the customer" is.

It's a cohesive entity that will have a consensus answer to those kinds of questions.

That works great in a shop where you clients are, in fact, cohesive.

What I'm finding on the ground, however, is that today's customers are ANYTHING but cohesive. The modern customer is frighteningly diverse as to their wants, needs, and expectations.

At least yesterday's customer was somewhat "trained" on their place in the creating order. When they came into the TV studio, they knew they were reliant on the pros. Today, not so much. (IN their own minds at least.) They've likely edited stuff at home themselves, so they know the buzzwords and since they WATCH so much cpmtemt, they believe that they understand how i works!

Today's customer sees something cool on TV, or in the Movies, or on the Web, or on a friends Facebook Page, or at the mall kiosk, or in an email attachment, and they have NO problem saying "I want something ilke that for my project."

That could mean video, or stills, or sounds, or kinetic text, or amorphous clouds of particle bees that swarm/morph into ice cream cones.

They don't know or care how simple, or complicated, or even possible it is. They saw it, so they think they want it. And don't understand why it might be difficult or expensive to provide it.

Period.

That's the world we're in right now.

I'm pleased to see that IBM is in the ascendence again. I hope they do really well.

But when I hit the chart, the only thing I could think of was reading Tufte. (Huh, why did they start it in 2009. What would it have looked like if they published one that started the Axis in 2000? Or 1970?)

In other words, the article was written to persuade. Not illuminate.

And that means it's opinion (like all of what I write here) - and can therefore be totally wrong.

(back to the salt mine, grateful to be in an "up" salt market for a while at least)

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index


Franz Bieberkopf
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:12:46 pm

[Bill Davis] " I kept seeing it as the writer having a single construct of what "the customer" is."


Bill,

I'm not sure at all the thoughts in the article require this. I think the writer claims that people can be articulate about their needs - I don't really see any claim that those needs are going to be unified or consistent it any way; that sort of assessment is left for the problem-solving end of it.


Franz.


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:17:03 pm

[Bill Davis] "I kept seeing it as the writer having a single construct of what "the customer" is. It's a cohesive entity that will have a consensus answer to those kinds of questions."

I'm not sure what the writer meant, but I'd argue that Apple has a much more unified model for "the customer" and one-size-fits-all approach to meeting their needs than IBM does.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Christian Schumacher
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:16:56 pm

The personal computer is dead, by Jonathan Zitttrain

"The fact is that today's developers are writing code with the notion not just of consumer acceptance, but also vendor acceptance. If a coder has something cool to show off, she'll want it in the Android Marketplace and the iOS App Store; neither is a substitute for the other. Both put the coder into a long-term relationship with the OS vendor. The user gets put in the same situation: if I switch from iPhone to Android, I can't take my apps with me, and vice versa. And as content gets funneled through apps, it may mean I can't take my content, either—or, if I can, it's only because there's yet another gatekeeper like Amazon running an app on more than one platform, aggregating content. The potentially suffocating relationship with Apple or Google or Microsoft is freed only by a new suitor like Amazon, which is structurally positioned to do the same thing.

A flowering of innovation and communication was ignited by the rise of the PC and the Web and their generative characteristics. Software was installed one machine at a time, a relationship among myriad software makers and users. Sites could appear anywhere on the Web, a relationship among myriad webmasters and surfers. Now activity is clumping around a handful of portals: two or three OS makers that are in a position to manage all apps (and content within them) in an ongoing way, and a diminishing set of cloud hosting providers like Amazon that can provide the denial-of-service resistant places to put up a website or blog."


http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2011/11/30_zittrain-the-personal-computer-i...


Return to posts index

Joseph Owens
Re: On Innovation
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:41:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "a much more unified model for "the customer" and one-size-fits-all approach to meeting their needs"

Above all, Apple is the "i-something" brand for around 78% or more of their product line. Where their profit centers are, only their accountants know, and I'd imagine they're pretty creative, too. So one of the most dangerous business practices is to keep swinging the bat the same way that you swung it when you hit that home run, because thats what we expect from the heavy-hitter/sluggers. We see the 'i" invading and taking over the entire Mac world, zombie-style, as they unify their OS so that it looks the same on every platform, whether its a phone or the Lion-ized MacPro. Even if it sports 16 cores. Probably more so. But wouldn't it be nice to "swipe" between AVID, AE, MochaPro, Resolve...???

Over the last half-dozen years, man, the wailing, hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth over the un-Apple look of SHAKE and COLOR... I thought it would never end, but Apple saw to that by terminating those applications. So now we will shortly have the gestural/swipe editor upsold to the previously ProApp group -- of course, this is the way iMovie works on the iPad - and in what way does this not make sense? What works small should work big too, right? Well, except in businesses large enough to need actuarial figures. Makes those "investment" business cases hard to pitch... y'know, to... well... "bankers"... or anybody who needs the numbers. But if your whole business investment is $299.... sorry, uh, refresh me, what would be the concern?

So there is an argument that "Apple is in the hardware business", and uses the software as a sort of entree to move boxes. I'd suggest that is not necessarily the case, either, since the biggest thing that Apple does now is design -- the actual hardware is produced by someone else, again.

I saw a business article discussing Intel's Windows8 tablet recently -- wouldn't it be interesting if the actual manufacturers decided to step around the middle man and started producing and selling their own product instead of letting a design company put their fancy label on it, jack up the price, and keep steering the customers back into their selling compound?

"The Price Goes Up as the Name Goes On!" like the old Zenith ads might have said. You do remember Zenith (Motorola), right? or Electrohome? or RCA? or...

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


Return to posts index

Christian Schumacher
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:11:45 pm

Less like 1984, and more like Brave New World, as in:

Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."


Return to posts index

Richard Cardonna
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 11:04:11 pm

Sony and Apple can be compared in many ways. Both became highly succesful by bringing in inovation. But there is a core difference, while sonys founder and ceo encourged its employees to develope ideas a was mmostly hands off, Jobs was all the contrary very hands on kinda of a guy.

Sony still dominates many markets But since Akito Moritas death the company has been in great trouble and loosing ground, could this be the same for Apples after Steves demise?

Richard


Return to posts index

Kevin Patrick
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:22:24 pm

IBM's a successful company. They've been around for a very long time. Not many companies can say that in their industry, or many others.

But Apple is beyond successful. Apple has done some pretty impressive things over the years. They've done it by operating in ways that are completely foreign to companies like IBM.

I think anyone who is close to Apple and it's employees will tell you that Steve Jobs is the one who has driven this company. Driven it the way he felt it should have been driven.

Now that he is gone, I won't be surprised if Apple becomes more like IBM and less like Apple.


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:52:37 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "Now that he is gone, I won't be surprised if Apple becomes more like IBM and less like Apple."

Most of the corporate film work I do is for IBM here in the UK, I've made a couple of films this year about their Centennial (on FCPX!) Apple would do very well to learn lessons from IBM as they face their future without Steve Jobs at the helm.

"FCPX Agitator"


Return to posts index

Kevin Patrick
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 6, 2012 at 1:37:36 pm

IBM is a very good company. They're successful. They make money and pay dividends. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment for a company that's as big as they are and has been around as long as they are. They also record the largest number of patents for any company every year for the past 18 years. (at least according to IBM)

Although I'm not sure Apple would be a better company being more like IBM.

FCS might still be around. But overall, I'm not sure Apple would be better to be like IBM.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 6, 2012 at 5:01:44 am

[Kevin Patrick] "Now that he is gone, I won't be surprised if Apple becomes more like IBM and less like Apple.
"


I don't know about that.

I just had an experience a couple of weeks ago in an Apple store that was totally contrary to any retail experience I've ever had.

I had a 1st gen MacBook Air that I wanted to pass along to my son. I thought it's only problem was a broken hinge, and I saw that there was a hinge problem with them, so warrantee care was not an issue.

I take it into the Apple store and the "Genius" looks it over and agrees that yes, the "mfg defect" is covered even tho the unit is long out of warrantee. So they pack it up and send it into repair.

Here's where things get interesting.

I get a call from the repair facility telling me that along with the hinge issue, the case has two damaged corners AND the logic board is bad. (probably from a drop.) He quotes me the cost of a new logic board at $600+. I mention that it's not worth that level of repair.

What does he do? The tech calls the Genius at the retail store for a consultation. They huddle via phone, and he comes back with a discounted price that knocks TWO THIRDS off the cost of the repair. My son gets a nice computer for $200 bucks. And when they returned it, it was obvious that not only did they repair the logic board and the hinges, but they completely replaced the entire case. It literally looked like the day it left the store.

The odd thing was that the 20-something year old Genius at the store level had the ultimate authority not only to solve my problem, but that the "chain of customer satisfaction" stopped at HIS level. Not at his managers, or at some supervisory level, but at the customer-facing employee. He controlled even the REPAIR centers behavior. It all went through him.

Considering parts and labor there's no way they didn't take at least a small loss on the transaction. But they certainly achieved an extremely happy customer.

That's what impressed me.

Apple gets this right, even at the "street level."

And at least in the retail sense, this is the total antithesis of a company that wants to "exert control" at every stage.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index

James Mortner
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 6, 2012 at 9:18:59 am

Interesting, when i tried a similar trick to walk into the store and replace some case screws, i was told to go and find them on ebay. Guess it depends
which Genius you get on the day...


Return to posts index

David Eaks
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 6, 2012 at 10:59:42 am

[Bill Davis] "Considering parts and labor there's no way they didn't take at least a small loss on the transaction. But they certainly achieved an extremely happy customer."

I've had a few similar experiences at the Apple store. Most notable was with my iPhone.

When I bought the phone (new contract at AT&T), the protective case I wanted wouldn't be in stock for a few days. So I figured I would just be really careful with it until then. The day I went to pickup the case I got a pretty bad scratch right in the middle of the screen (I honestly don't know how it happened). I went to the Apple store and talked to the guy at the front door about the scratch. He then set me up to talk with a Genius. When it was my turn, I showed the lady and explained the situation. She opened up a new iPhone and traded me, NO COST (after making it clear that I have to be more careful with this one)! They certainly achieved another extremely happy customer.

Whether or not the Genius looked up my name and saw that I had spent ~8K in that store over the last couple years, I don't know...

The over-all service I've received since my first Apple product purchase in 2008 (Mac Pro) has been exceptional. I think this treatment inspires some level of "Loyalty". I'm really big on customer service and am willing to pay a bit more to buy from the company that gives it. So, provided that they continue this standard of customer service (although I don't expect the free replacements to continue) and their products continue to fit the needs of my business, they have earned a customer for life... We'll see.


Return to posts index

Kevin Patrick
Re: Why Every Company Needs to be More Like IBM and Less Like Apple
on Jan 6, 2012 at 12:21:18 pm

[Bill Davis] "And at least in the retail sense, this is the total antithesis of a company that wants to "exert control" at every stage."

I think you experienced Apple's desire to exert control at every stage. Your positive experience happened in Apple's store. A place where they have complete control over the user's experience. An experience that impressed you.

Other companies have tried and failed to what Apple is doing at retail. While Apple is not only successful, but their stores have some of the highest revenue per square foot in the industry. At least according for this Forbes article.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briancaulfield/2011/12/09/forget-stadiums-citie...

The retail experience was very important to Jobs. A position that reported directly to him.

Apple may become more like IBM. But I wonder if (and probably when) they do if your experience will still be the same. Or if an IBM-like Apple will pay a little more attention to the bottom line as opposed to the consumer experience.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]