By Pradyut Hande:
Every now and then there emerges a company that radically redefines the realms of the often clichÃ©d and loosely utilized term “revolutionary”. A company that dares to break out of the cocoon of often predesigned customary business models; that dares to question and discard conventional “business dogma” in their quest to traverse the tortuous path towards accomplishing streamlined operations, increased profitability and global brand recognition through the use of continual innovation and reinvention. If there is one global company that truly epitomizes the aforementioned, it has to be Apple Inc. The computer/electronics behemoth has consistently ranked as one of the most innovative global firms. One look at their extensive blockbuster product range and it comes as no surprise! The ubiquitous iPod, the iPhone, the MacBook series and now the iPad are a handful of their path breaking product offerings that have literally taken the world by storm, much to the chagrin of their competitors.
So what is it that fuels Apple’s stupendous success… success that seldom ceases to amaze. I shall attempt to enumerate a few factors that could plausibly elucidate the same:
Apple has excelled in this regard. After hours of onerous groundwork, prototype development and testing; they have come to regard the design of their products as their “fundamental soul”. It is a prerequisite they have woven into their operational fabric. Having made new product design, development and quality their priorities; they have managed to uphold these basic tenets that are clearly reflected in each of their products. Apple is also its biggest critic; spending billions of dollars on radical products until they meet high specification norms.
Many quarters regard Apple as an often closed organization, paranoid with security to ensure the utmost protection of their trade and business secrets. This “secretive strategy”Â is a double edged sword at best though. On the one hand, it gives arms Apple with the proclivity to surprise competitors on a cluttered market; while on the other it can take a mental toll on its employees. However, more than the secretive element ingrained in the culture; it is the tactful manner in which Apple creates a congenial atmosphere for indulging in innovation. Instead of straitjacketing their creative pools in splintered, disorganized units; Apple ensures they are given the freedom to pursue disparate individual goals for a larger collective objective. Apple goes out of its way to empower its most valuable employees. For instance, their state-of-the-art Industrial Design Group based in California is a separate world unto itself where Apple’s top designers work in a “secluded melting pot of creativity”; churning out one revolutionary product after another!
Apple has always believed in assembling a multidimensional proficient team. Their bold proactive management approach has been one of their strong suits, aiding their steady ascendancy in corporate echelons. Apple possesses a streamlined hierarchy devoid of extensive chains of authority. CEO Steve Jobs and his trusted “crew” take most important decisions. Another noteworthy managerial facet is Apple’s conscious predilection to rely more on their intuition instead of extensive market research and competitor analysis. One could call term that a serious gamble, but had Apple not walked down the “intuitive avenue”, the iPod and the iPhone would never have seen the light of day!
Strong, effective and responsive leadership is a prerequisite for corporate success. In Founder and CEO Steve Jobs, Apple has one of the most dynamic, focused and proactive business leaders on the planet! Often regarded as a “tyrannical perfectionist”Â during the halcyon days of youth, the Steve Jobs the world knows today is a highly mellowed down and less eccentric (if you may!) version of yore. However, without his almost maniacal drive and evergreen passion for his “job”, Apple Inc. would have struggled to scale the acme of success it enjoys today. Although still dependent on Jobs, Apple has begun instilling the tenets of the “Apple” brand of leadership in the emerging breed of new age managers.
The aforesaid are a clutch of factors that in some measure are responsible for Apple Inc.’s healthy market position today. One thing is for certain: Apple will continue to redefine markets, ameliorate products and enthrall scores of “Apple aficionados”Â the world over for a long, long time! This is one company that revels in “discarding the tried and tested”! Think different… think Apple Inc.!
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz. This article has been reproduced from his blog post at http://pradyuthande.blogspot.com/2010/09/apple-inc.html