Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the i-bet-it-just-had-one-button dept.

Businesses 424

hype7 writes "With yesterday's release of the Steve Jobs biography, a raft of interesting information has come to light — including Jobs' favorite books. There's one book there listed as 'profoundly moving' to Jobs — The Innovator's Dilemma by innovation professor Clayton Christensen. The book explains how in the pursuit of profit, good managers leave their companies open to disruption. There's an interesting article over at the Harvard Business Review that explains how disruption works, and how Jobs managed to solve the dilemma by focusing Apple on products rather than profit."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

But can he solve the First Post dilemma? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37838922)

He can't because he's dead.

Re:But can he solve the First Post dilemma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839638)

Now I realize that some people might find that offensive, but it really is quite funny. It made me laugh out loud, and I'm sure I'm not the only sociopath on slashdot. To quote Homer Simpson "It's funny because it didn't happen to me!"

How long... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37838958)

...will the Apple fanboys bother us with their dead guru ?

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37838968)

Agreed. Can we move on? The only time I remember that he is dead is when I come on Slashdot and see the articles about him...

Re:How long... (0)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#37839162)

You... loved Steve, didn't you? Its ok... come in for a brug*

* brug- bro hug.

Re:How long... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37838980)

Until you're dead, which isn't soon enough.

Re:How long... (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37838996)

If Christianity is any metric to measure this by, we're going to be hearing about Steve Jobs for at least the next 2100 years...

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839290)

Next time please post a spoiler alert.

I wanted to wait until his next biography to find out if Zombie_Jobs rises again.

Re:How long... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839468)

I wanted to wait until his next biography to find out if Zombie_Jobs rises again.

...it's been more than three days.

We need to wait 75 years for someone to promulgate a resurrection + subsequent disappearance/ascension myth. Maybe a little longer, given current lifespans. Preferably, the promulgator will be someone with admin access to archive.org in order to "tweak"/"harmonize" historical accounts. The promulgator can also publish three different accounts under different pseudonyms to give the appearance of corroboration of the "historical" account.

4 bonus internets if the promulgator can integrate parthenogenesis [wikimedia.org] somehow producing a male Jobschrist.

Re:How long... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839536)

You're such an ass!

Re:How long... (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | about 3 years ago | (#37839826)

I'm gonna wait for the autobiography ;-)

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839876)

Troll? More like LOL.

Re:How long... (0, Offtopic)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37839252)

Slashdot is ad-driven and Apple brings a lot fo comments, both good and bad.

Think about that next time you whine about too many Apple stories floating around.

Re:How long... (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#37839314)

Ah, the classic "They make money - they suck!", or the equally entertaining "They used to be good before everyone knew about them."

Re:How long... (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37839422)

Uh, no, RMFP, it's actually the "you're part of the problem you're whining about" argument. Slashdot attracts readers to the comments section where they serve ads. If you post about how you hate Apple, you're making money for Slashdot and encouraging them to keep running Apple stories.

But, hey, according to somebody with a mod-point, I shouldn't be pointing this out. Well, if I'm some crazy person, fine. You're welcome to go to apple.slashdot.org and peek at all the recent stories and how many comments they've gotten. After three or for stores with 500+ comments it really is hard to say that people who post on Slashdot don't want Apple stories posted.

Re:How long... (1)

jamrock (863246) | about 3 years ago | (#37839506)

Dammit! Where are my mod points?

Re:How long... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839610)

They sucked his dick when he was alive. Now... they still suck his dick... only more.

Since death of this asshole, all we have been reading is how great Steve Jobs has been and how pathetic and evil Google is. Apple PR is now in full force on /.

*pukes*

Re:How long... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839690)

Ballmer? Is that you?

Re:How long... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839796)

How long will the trolls continue to celebrate their ignorance and lack of decency?

Re:How long... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839850)

...will the Apple fanboys bother us with their dead guru ?

"Insightful"?

This is a classic troll post, and should be moderated as such.

MBAs Prevent Disruption (1)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 3 years ago | (#37838962)

I believe it's part of a 101 class on how a profitable business should be ran.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (5, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | about 3 years ago | (#37839174)

It's the most misunderstood thing in business - do good work, make the customers happy, create good value and profit becomes a side effect.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (2, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#37839378)

Mod parent funny.

--
BMO

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37839570)

If I may borrow from Starwars a bit...

"The more you tighten your grip, CEO, the more profit will slip through your fingers"

You know, as a devout capitalist, I've always believed that customers service comes first. That, and the quality of your goods and services should be enough to advertise themselves via word of mouth.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 3 years ago | (#37839836)

You know, as a devout capitalist, I've always believed that customers service comes first.

A capitalist of the Adam Smith variety would say that profit comes first, and that good customer service and mutual benefit is a consequence of pursuing profit.

The fact that this doesn't work under a lot of different contexts, particularly the ones that Harvard MBAs get themselves learned in, is the guts of the story.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (2)

smash (1351) | about 3 years ago | (#37839980)

Its a bit of a mix. If you are profit driven and already have good products, you'll be fine until the products are superseded by something else that is more attractive.

This is where apple was between say 1984 and 1997 - gradually sliding downhill with no direction in a race to the bottom - and losing.

However... Eventually, you need to put quarterly earnings calls aside, and figure out how to make something people don't even know they want, rather than race to the bottom against everyone else building an ever cheaper version of X. Thats a race that nobody wins, so don't be in that race.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839280)

MBA's are the disruption. They apparently know everything about everything. Delusional annoying pricks.

Re:MBAs Prevent Disruption (4, Informative)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37839364)

Part of a 101 Business class, that is. You know, that class that all the football players ace.

Growing a business, expanding market share, increasing sales revenues in a competitive market place all require taking risks, otherwise known as 'disruption'. Good managers know how to stay focused on the risk, not avoid it. Meanwhile, they minimize unneeded risks, or issues that divert the organization's attention from their primary goal. There is a very good correlation between risk and ROI. No risk means your investors had better be willing to live with T-bill like returns.

You want no disruption? Go into a government bureaucracy or get a job in a large corporation away from the principle line of business*.

* The problem here is that its easy for companies to outsource these tasks. So in the final analysis, you are still exposed to risk. That which involves turning your job over to leaner, more competitive service providers.

Jobs must have went (0, Troll)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | about 3 years ago | (#37838970)

Jobs must have gone to the same low rent executive training program that we send our executives too because making products people want to buy so that you can make money isn't really earth shattering.

Laying off thousands of people, cutting hundreds of product lines to focus on three main products which are beginning to stagnate is hardly 'innovative'. It's hardly a good idea either. Give Apple another 10 years and we'll see if this "culture of innovation" supposedly created at Apple continues, or it was just one man with a plan that drove their share price.

Re:Jobs must have went (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839148)

It drove more than their share price [ycharts.com] .

If you're arguing that he made bad business decisions, I think you need to rework your argument.

No. (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 3 years ago | (#37839226)

Implementation != Interface. Just because your shitty management used a concept to make poor decisions doesn't mean the concept itself is poor.

Re:Jobs must have went (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839282)

The "low rent training program" you're describing was actually a book - which is what the article was about had you bothered to read the first sentence.

Re:Jobs must have went (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 3 years ago | (#37839702)

One thing they attempted to do is keep the product line simple. This helps people find what they want easily and also keeps production manageable. There are some companies that have product lines that are so confusing with too much mediocre selection and badly written specs, that I simply turn away.

Sometimes limited choice is actually better for business and for your customers. You just need to be sure what the best median is.

Re:Jobs must have went (2)

theVarangian (1948970) | about 3 years ago | (#37839778)

Give Apple another 10 years and we'll see if this "culture of innovation" supposedly created at Apple continues, or it was just one man with a plan that drove their share price.

That depends on the people who took over from Jobs and how well Jobs judged their abilities. If they think like him the company will prosper. If the spreadsheet monkeys move in they'll piss away everything Jobs achieved inside of 10 years... tops.

Re:Jobs must have went (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37839800)

making products people want to buy so that you can make money isn't really earth shattering.

Making things people want to buy isn't earth shattering. Finding out what people want before they know *is*. People didn't want the iPhone before it was out there. People have wanted printers since Gutenberg. So HP making a printer to make money isn't earth shattering. But making a phone in a crowded phone market that people wanted, really wanted, *is* earth shattering. Why didn't anyone else do it first? Why have phones been around for 20 years before that happened. It's not just the "find a need and fill it" marketing you are referring to, it was "find a desire and make a product that generates a "need" when none existed before. It's unlike the CEO training classes that are almost exclusively common sense.

Buncha Apple Fanbois (-1)

knapper_tech (813569) | about 3 years ago | (#37838982)

Jobs solved the innovation dilemma by having a lot of engineers circled around him.

Re:Buncha Apple Fanbois (3, Insightful)

Tronster (25566) | about 3 years ago | (#37839480)

That's one piece of the puzzle.
Two of a few examples that come to mind...

How did he get some of the best talent to work for Apple; especially in the late 90s when engineers knew it was nearing bankruptcy and the dot.com boom was paying top dollar for talent in a variety of interesting projects?

How did he get a good number of the consumer populous to think of Apple as being "THE" computer worth having; especially when it offered similar or only slightly better performance and features to what established big dogs (i.e., Dell, Compaq, and HP) were offering?

I grew up idolizing engineers like Woz & Carmack for their engineering skills; it wasn't until years of participating in group projects, and taking leadership positions on teams of 6 - 12 people have I realized how underrated amongst the technically proficient are the humanistic contributions that go into any project of a significant size. The larger the project, the more likely it will fail without stellar leadership. (e.g., Take a look at what Longhorn claimed and what it became when released as Windows Vista.)

I truly believe Steve cared about his products beyond the profit; he knew a great product, marketed the right way, would bring the profits. I wish more companies used this mentality.

I hope whatever qualities Steve possessed, that allowed Apple to be successful during his oversight, are able to persist amongst his successors.

What's That You Fucking Piece Of Shit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839542)

Someone needs to beat the shit out of losers like you.

The miserable prick is dead, stop trying to suck is cock you fucking garbage.

easy tiger (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 3 years ago | (#37839666)

Jobs solved the innovation dilemma by having a lot of engineers circled around him.

Which itself was a master stroke that made him an outlier (a positive one when it comes to profit) above the average management crop. And if we look deeper, we see him (after he was re-appointed CEO) taking Apple (which was a few weeks short of bankruptcy) and turned it in a way that it is hard to replicate in the business world. That takes more than just having a lot of engineers circling around him.

I think he was an asshole, but you cannot deny the brilliance and determination the motherfucker emanated (or farted, whichever verb appeals to you the most.)

Re:easy tiger (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 3 years ago | (#37839750)

He also had top industrial designers. The computer has moved into the same phase the automobile moved into over 60 years ago, whereby having the best engineering is not enough. Sure it will attract the geeks and the spec seekers, but most people are interested how good the product looks and feels, while doing the job they expect from it. Would a Ferrari be the same car without the exterior design?

Too much IT hardware feels as if it was designed on the outside by the people who are doing in the inside. Even as a programmer, I recognize the importance of getting some who understands people to do the user interface. The user experience is down to the little details, that as a programmer I probably ignore because I focus on the functionality.

Re:easy tiger (-1)

knapper_tech (813569) | about 3 years ago | (#37839954)

A particle which seeks to magnify its own existence would consume the universe and commit suicide in order to sense something other than itself. There is a fundamental limit to the stability of any monolithic system or even a monolithic personality cult. Apple made two big mistakes, both at the hands of Steve Jobs.
  1. Build the entire computer. Microsoft licensed their product and achieved a place at the heart of the emergent ecosystem. Apple lost.
  2. Build the entire phone. Android licensed their product and is achieving a place at the heart of the emergent ecosystem. Apple is losing.

Steve Jobs never learned a goddamned thing. That is not what I would ever refer to as brilliance, genius, creativity, or even sanity. It was dumb luck. A twice-gone flash in the pan attempt at domination of the entire consumer tech ecosystem. Steve Jobs was a would-be tyrant, arrogant piece of shit. He was so arrogant he didn't even want to treat his cancer. He though he would just get over it.

I'm not particularly disagreeing with anything that has been said. I did think I failed to elaborate on why I have never been impressed with Apple or Steve Jobs. I don't want to be the end-all be-all pundit either. Really, I believe there is more need for moderation on the subject of Steve Jobs.

Re:Buncha Apple Fanbois (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839788)

Engineers are really just tools to be used and discarded by social engineers like Steve Jobs.

Re:Buncha Apple Fanbois (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 3 years ago | (#37839864)

Jobs solved the innovation dilemma by having a lot of engineers circled around him.

The fact that no other corporate CEO surrounds himself with engineers, designers and implementors should be instructive. I mean you make it sound easy but why on earth are most of the other tech companies led by the nose by their sales and marketing people?

Nice if you can do it (5, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | about 3 years ago | (#37838986)

It's very nice if you can run a company and just worry about your products, but unfortunately most senior management can't. The board and the shareholders hold them to stock price and quarterly earnings, and if they don't make the expectations they're likely to be replaced by the board.

Steve Jobs was a bit of an unusual case, because the man had a brand unlike almost any other corporate executive in the United States. Think about how he took most of Apple's engineering staff off of MacBook upgrades and OS X development to create the iPhone. It worked, and created Apple its most profitable product line ever. But what other person, at what other large company, has the political capital to sacrifice development of an existing profitable product line for an unknown?

That's why Apple was so successful under Jobs' tenure: he had the resources of a huge organization, but the political capital amongst employees, the board and the shareholders to make the kinds of decisions that usually only small companies (with small expectations) can manage. It takes technical talent to create great products, but it also takes a management that's willing to let the talent do that. It's unlikely that Apple will be able to continue in the same vein for long, now that Jobs is gone. His successors may be great, but they'll never be Jobs.

Re:Nice if you can do it (5, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 3 years ago | (#37839086)

not to mention, Jobs was only able to take total control because Apple was very close to death.

If Scully and the other bean counters didn't screw up as much as they did - and Apple was still a somewhat decent and profitable company - there's no way Job's would've been invited back, let alone go nuts the way he did.

Re:Nice if you can do it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839190)

Sculley saved the company from Jobs. The share price rose after Jobs ouster because some semblance of sane management was introduced. It started failing in the mid-nineties because it had a crap OS which was useless to people in the real world and no plan to replace it with something useful. In fact Apple only joined the 20th Century in having a pre-emptive multi-tasking OS in the 21st Century.

Re:Nice if you can do it (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 3 years ago | (#37839626)

Sculley traded Apple's good reputation for short term profits.

I wouldn't exactly call that saving Apple, it's typical MBA idiocy.

Re:Nice if you can do it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839736)

It started failing in the mid-nineties because it had a crap OS which was useless to people in the real world and no plan to replace it with something useful.

No, they started failing because PCs got cheap and Windows (which was also a crap OS) was Good Enough.

That and the developer feedback loop: more PCs sold -> bigger software market -> more software published -> more PCs sold...

Re:Nice if you can do it (2)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | about 3 years ago | (#37839842)

We can argue about how much Apple needed saving from Jobs, but pushing to replace the crap OS was just the kind of thing that got Steve Jobs ousted from Apple.

Of course, it was the same OS he'd been pushing for that they eventually bought back along with Jobs himself when they acquired NeXT.

Re:Nice if you can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839256)

Until they defrost him!

Re:Nice if you can do it (4, Interesting)

AndrewStephens (815287) | about 3 years ago | (#37839260)

What has always surprised me about Jobs is the amount of risk he was willing to take on. People forget what a huge leap it was to ditch everything that came before (including several up-and-coming products) and focus on OSX. The iPhone also represented a huge effort - a radical departure for Apple and radically different from other cell phones, if it hadn't been an immediate success Apple would only be a fraction of what it is today.

History is littered with the wreckage of companies that decided to change direction, diverting resources from existing customers to look for fresh fields. Apple somehow managed to do it several times to great success.

Another thing that strikes me about Apple is how old-fashioned the corporate culture seems to be (from the outside). They do business by figuring out what people want, and then selling it directly to the public with a minimum of fuss at a price that both parties can live with. Contrast this with their competitors in the computer and cell phone markets, who sell pretty much the same devices encumbered with "special offers", "free malware detection (for 30 days)", or annoying contracts, none of which customers actually desire. I can't see why other manufacturers haven't gotten the hint yet.

Re:Nice if you can do it (2)

khallow (566160) | about 3 years ago | (#37839362)

It's very nice if you can run a company and just worry about your products, but unfortunately most senior management can't. The board and the shareholders hold them to stock price and quarterly earnings, and if they don't make the expectations they're likely to be replaced by the board.

I see no evidence that Apple, a publicly traded company, didn't have the pressures or the expectations that any other publicly traded company has. And for all the political capital that Jobs had when he returned to Apple, he had more when he died.

Re:Nice if you can do it (4, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about 3 years ago | (#37839734)

Steve Jobs was a bit of an unusual case, because the man had a brand unlike almost any other corporate executive in the United States. Think about how he took most of Apple's engineering staff off of MacBook upgrades and OS X development to create the iPhone. It worked, and created Apple its most profitable product line ever. But what other person, at what other large company, has the political capital to sacrifice development of an existing profitable product line for an unknown?

Jobs did that back when Apple had less resources too. He pretty much completely killed the Apple II team to make the Macintosh team. He just got his best people, and put them to work on what he thought was the future product. Take this story [folklore.org] for example. Eventually, the people who remained on the Apple II team were only the engineers he didn't have much confidence on (and by "eventually" I mean before the Macintosh got released, not after the user base for the Mac surpassed the Apple II). Relevant quote:

"No, you're just wasting your time with that! Who cares about the Apple II? The Apple II will be dead in a few years. Your OS will be obsolete before it's finished. The Macintosh is the future of Apple, and you're going to start on it now!".

With that, he walked over to my desk, found the power cord to my Apple II, and gave it a sharp tug, pulling it out of the socket, causing my machine to lose power and the code I was working on to vanish. He unplugged my monitor and put it on top of the computer, and then picked both of them up and started walking away. "Come with me. I'm going to take you to your new desk."

Jobs was an asshole in a lot of ways, but it's undeniable that his driven attitude was responsible for his successes. He didn't play it safe, he put his faith in the next product and went ahead full steam. If it doesn't work out, drop the project without a second thought and move on.

Re:Nice if you can do it (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 3 years ago | (#37839890)

It's unlikely that Apple will be able to continue in the same vein for long

If you're talking about the pace of their innovation, I have to agree... but only because... what the heck else can they do now? A television... and then what? But Apple should do fine with a slowed innovation pace, with minor hw/sw updates at the schedule they are accustomed to, for years to come. They have the best hw, the best sw available for the desktop, the best integration of products... they can focus on increasing the install base... but their success is going to slide out for at least a decade before they need to even begin to worry.

Legacy (3, Insightful)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | about 3 years ago | (#37839032)

What will determine Jobs' perceived success going forward is if Apple continues to innovate, or that it falls apart without his guidance.

A great leader creates success around them. Does Apple in 10 years look the same or worse than it does now? If worse, why? Cook is a capable performer, but was Jobs the lynchpin that kept things moving or did he create his 'legacy' in a stable enough fashion that Apple continues as if he never left.

Jobs' Legacy Is Shit - Nothing Can Change That (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839136)

Macs continue to have an irrelevant markeshare. They have gotten a minor bump by being able to run their competitor's dominant OS on their hardware.

The iPhone is getting destroyed by Android 2.5 to 1 in sales worldwide right now and the rate at which Android is leaving Apple in the dust in the cellphone market is rapidly growing.

The iPad has dropped from some 95 percent of the tablet market down to 65 percent in just a few months as Google does exactly what they did to the iPhone now to the iPad.

The rest of Jobs' products have been miserable failures like Apple TV and others.

The only real success Jobs ever had at Apple was the iPod.

His legacy will be nothing more than a footnote in the history of computing. A prick who sold overpriced consumer electronics to the hipster douchebag Starbucks crowd.

Re:Jobs' Legacy Is Shit - Nothing Can Change That (1, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37839300)

The iPad, iPhone, and Macbooks weren't really successful? +1? Really??

And you lot wonder where noisy fanboys come from.

Re:Jobs' Legacy Is Shit - Nothing Can Change That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839404)

What people don't credit Apple enough with is creating the market that allowed Android to succeed. They put together a smartphone (and a tablet) that the masses actually wanted. Before the iPhone, the only people who bought smartphones were nerds and the Blackberry toting business folks. Hardly anyone bought tablets except for certain vertical markets.

I don't think Android would have had the same traction without Apple blazing the trail. Android's kicking butt right now, and that's great - the Android/iOS competition can only be driving innovation. I'd hardly call the iPhone and iPad a failure, though. iPhone 4S pre-selling 1M units in 24 hours despite all of the available Android phones? I'm thinking Apple's board has to be pretty happy with the product lines' performance.

LOL, Fanboy Rationalizations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839434)

Golly, can't figure out why the entire computing world despises Apple cult members...

Re:LOL, Fanboy Rationalizations (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37839886)

Because some people believe computers should be hard to use. Easy leads to the Eternal September and such, and any geeks around for that remember it as a bad thing. Apple makes things easy which should be hard. What, you are installing a Unix-like OS and didn't have to write your own drivers? Blasphemy. Using a computer should be hard enough to keep the undesirables away.

Re:Jobs' Legacy Is Shit - Nothing Can Change That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839606)

"Macs have irrelevant marketshare" -- Everyone uses a Mac (even if it's an imitation Mac from Redmond)

"The iPhone is getting destroyed" -- But iOS outsells Android and Apple is raking in more than half of worldwide cellphone profit. Market share means nothing if it isn't profitable.

"The iPad has dropped in market share" -- There are no numbers to back this up because competitors won't admit how many they sell. All they tout is how many they are shipping.

Apple TV has been as successful as Apple hoped. They've always said it's just a hobby.

Oh...I almost forgot. You're the real prick here.

Re:Jobs' Legacy Is Shit - Nothing Can Change That (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37839858)

The iPhone is getting destroyed by Android 2.5 to 1 in sales worldwide right now and the rate at which Android is leaving Apple in the dust in the cellphone market is rapidly growing.

Are you taking the lying Apple-hating stance of "lets compare OSs, not devices, and when doing so, lets exclude Apple devices I find inconvenient, like the iPad.

The iPad has dropped from some 95 percent of the tablet market down to 65 percent in just a few months as Google does exactly what they did to the iPhone now to the iPad.

Ah, you separated it out. Note, Apple still sells more than half of all tablets, and with a much higher margin than Android sellers. A smaller, but more profitable, product share has worked out well for Apple, so no reason to consider 65% share a failure, as you assert.

Re:Legacy (3, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 years ago | (#37839270)

The state of Apple in 10 years will be determined by many things, and imagining how things would have gone if Steve Jobs had survived is simply an exercise in religion. What would Steve do? What would Jesus do? How about looking at the real world instead.

Copy it (0, Flamebait)

Intropy (2009018) | about 3 years ago | (#37839042)

When someone innovates, copy it, make it really shiny, market it extensively, and sell it at a large markup.

Re:Copy it (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 3 years ago | (#37839324)

And if someone does the same to you in reverse, tie em up in the courts for so long that their product is obsolete before it reaches the hands of consumers.

Apple solved the problem by moving to design (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37839066)

Apple managed to turn profits by outsourceing the actual production so they could focus on design.

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839202)

[citation needed]

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839236)

Made in China. Designed by Apple in California.

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (1)

drb226 (1938360) | about 3 years ago | (#37839448)

Wrong meme; I believe you meant to say "correlation != causation". GP was clearly referring to Foxconn, etc. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (2)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37839276)

Apple outsourced production because assembling electronics in a 3rd world country costs you bubkes. Its funny that you think outsourcing is the cause of their success. They're good at polishing products, and their marketing machine has built a powerful brand image. Thats why they're successful.

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839392)

Name any large consumer electronics company that doesn't do this.

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37839558)

I didn't claim they don't do this. The article is wrong thinking that it was a unique genius of Steve Jobs.

Re:Apple solved the problem by moving to design (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37839916)

I didn't claim they don't do this.

He didn't claim you didn't claim they do this.

The article is wrong thinking that it was a unique genius of Steve Jobs.

You presented it as your own idea, and as such, it was an irrelevant one, as every other company does the same. If you wanted to critique the article, then you should have done so, rather than expressing it as a general opinion unrelated to the topic at hand (And a wrong one at that).

Ye Gawds! (5, Insightful)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | about 3 years ago | (#37839088)

I think all of us in the tech industry know of or have experienced decisions which make sense only when viewed from the light of "near term profit is the most important."

You know:
- Downsizing skilled engineering teams to cut costs in order to hit profit numbers
- Terminating new products before they've been completed, because some number cruncher couldn't foresee profitability
- Failure to endorse refactoring of software modules engineering states are fragile/non-maintainable because it requires dedication of resources to something that doesn't drive current revenues
- The list goes on

Here we have evidence, finally, that profit at all costs isn't how you run a company.

Re:Ye Gawds! (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 3 years ago | (#37839308)

I just got my HP touchpad from the firesale that HP held. In my opinion, it is the one tablet that could have challenged the iPad. It just needed to be sold at or near cost to gain a presence. WebOS, after the latest update, is a very capable OS. But HP hired a software guy for a hardware company. And so, they aborted a product that could have had a lot of success.

Not only does a company have to have management who is willing to take chances, it also needs the right management to continue to be innovative. The slow destruction of HP is proof of that.

Re:Ye Gawds! (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37839486)

I got a touchpad from the firesale too. Its a good product @ $150 for 32gb, but it wasn't and still isn't worth $500. The problem is that: a) The OS is great (really, I really enjoy webos) but there aren't enough apps and the web browser sucks. b) Competing @ apple's price point is ridiculous. If I wanted a top notch tablet @ that price I'd buy an ipad. What I want is something thats good (not necessarily ipad good), but whose price more closely reflects its utility. So it's not really as good as an ipad, and was pretty much just as expensive. Why would I choose it over the ipad if it wasn't being sold for significantly less money?

Re:Ye Gawds! (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 3 years ago | (#37839420)

Especially in this economy. My employer produces the best products in its niche, and neglected its repair/bug fixing apparatus because it could just sell or offer the customer a still-costy exchange for latest model. Now all of the customers not buying or exchanging but are sending in their existing shit to be fixed, and nobody wants to give the repair apparatus the funding it needs because there are too many middle-management bonuses at stake. Internal parasitism runs rampant in corporations, hand-in-hand with short-term profits.

Also notice that I said, "best products in its niche." That means that our customers have too much invested in our products to launch any credible threat to use our competitors' gadgets. They're stuck. You, our customer, paid tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for our products, and we are fixing them with hairpins, duct tape, and bubblegum. We have no engineering support because all of our engineers are either doing jack shit waiting to retire, jumping ship, or are fixing the bugs in our newest product line which is years late and still doesn't work.

And we're fine with that, because at this point all we care about are our paychecks. We are the ninety-nine percent.

Sad commentary on the state of US companies (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 3 years ago | (#37839142)

I think this speaks more to how pathetic the leadership of a lot of US companies have become more than it does on Jobs. Love Jobs or hate him, one thing that you cannot deny is that he was one of the few US CEOs that actually gave a shit about what his company makes and sells. Compare Jobs to people like Fiorna or Bob Nardelli whose sole purpose was to get inside a company, didn't' even matter which industry it was, and play games with numbers while gutting the company and enriching themselves in the process. Fiorna didn't give 2 shits about servers, or calculators, or Unix etc. To her they were all just "product", an annoyance that she had to tolerate on her way to stealing from the HP shareholders, employees, and customers.

Now compare that to Jobs, people talk about the reality distortion field, but the only way Jobs could actually create that field was if he actually cared about what he was talking about. He gave such good presentations because in a lot of ways he was like a kid who had just been given a neat toy and was showing it off at show and tell, there was genuine passion there. If companies want to emulate Apple's success the first thing they have to do is hire executives that actually are genuinely interested in what they make and sell.

Re:Sad commentary on the state of US companies (3, Insightful)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37839286)

Indeed. Its funny when you see the difference between an engineer who became upper management, vs an MBA brought in from the pool of MBAs ready to leech off any company that will hire them. Its sadly similar in most marketing and human resources departments as well.

Re:Sad commentary on the state of US companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839720)

You can send an Engineer to MBA school, and you'll have a damn good Engineer and a decent MBA, or you can send an MBA to Engineering school and watch him flunk out.

The calculus in Engineering schools is much more rigorous than that which is presented in MBA school. You have to know how to apply it; when, where, how and why, and not just do the math based on formulas.

Re:Sad commentary on the state of US companies (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37839966)

I've taken engineering math and MBA math. Neither was "easier" than the other. Parsing through a company's financials is harder to me than integrals or differential equations. Also, when doing so on public books, it's no longer math. It's divination, as the books are more cooked than last night's dinner.

Seems to me... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37839196)

Seems to me this pretty much boils down to not caring about profit IN THIS QUARTER, but rather, a few years down the line. Also, the issue of cannibalization seems to have been largely sidestepped. The iPod wasn't a threat to Mac sales. The iPhone was not a threat to Mac sales, but was a bit of a threat to iPod sales, but the iPhone could effectively serve as a replacement (and without telephony, it was deemed the iPod touch). The serious threat of cannibalization came from the iPad, but I'm fairly sure by that point, the iPhone was the breadwinner, so it would be far less of a concern than going straight from Mac to iPad.

Re:Seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839512)

"Seems to me this pretty much boils down to not caring about profit IN THIS QUARTER, but rather, a few years down the line."
I think this is very important. Employees can be worried about what happens today, this week, this month, this year and once you introduce bonus schemes it's profit/turnover this week, this month.....etc.
Senior managers who focus on the good of the company ( which in this case is seemingly product before profit ), and swim against the common culture of the organisation are very few and far between. To change the culture of the whole company so that it is motivated correctly can only be done by one of these rare individuals who is at the top.
It's why all the companies bought as financial investments by people who know nothing about the industry generally go to the wall imho.

Re:Seems to me... (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37839588)

HP is still screwing this up. They've tied Whitman's 'bonus' (ie her salary, since her official salary is only a dollar) to the stock price. She only gets paid if the stock price goes up 120%. Since stock price is market driven, and the market runs on fear, uncertainty, and the predictions of thousands of deranged analysts, it seems unlikely that she'd be motivated to look at long term company health when her income doesn't depend on that.

jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839228)

is this relevant?

Cue the haters (0, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#37839312)

Cue the Apple haters who can't stand an Apple story on the front page of Slashdot. They've been bitching and moaning all week.

Apple's focus on product was obvious when they introduced the iPod nano to replace the iPod mini at the height of the iPod mini's popularity. Few other companies would have stopped selling one of their most successful products or changed the product's name.

Re:Cue the haters (0, Offtopic)

bky1701 (979071) | about 3 years ago | (#37839530)

Sure they're Apple haters, and you're not an Apple fanboi? Reality gets skewed a bit once you drink the flavor-aid... but I have to say, your post is a new extreme.

I am completely tired of Jobs stories. This is worse than the usual Apple fanboyism; it seems anything at all even remotely related to Steve-baby gets on the front page, no matter how irrelevant or pointless. Look at how many stories there are about the marketing mogul Jobs (sorry, no time to count), and how many there are about REAL computer pioneers like John McCarthy (1) and Dennis Ritchie (also 1).

Slashdot has fallen far when someone like you can be modded up for whining about "Apple haters" not likely a Jobs-a-day story, while ignoring actually important people and their contributions. You make me sick.

Really? (2, Insightful)

pookemon (909195) | about 3 years ago | (#37839318)

If Apple are focussed on their Products rather than their Profit - why are they suing Samsung to protect their profit? Samsung aren't making iPads - so they aren't suing to protect their product... People (Fanboi's) will still buy iPads regardless of whether or not the Galaxy is available...

So, what he did.... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 years ago | (#37839436)

was to return what America used to do and be before MBA's took over.

Prior art. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839444)

Ford understood it waaaay before Jobs.

http://quotations.about.com/od/stillmorefamouspeople/a/HenryFord2.htm

We sure needed Jobs to show the path again to us, though -- we're lost in this moronic "shareholders first" mindset. Shareholders will never care about anything but money... nor products, nor customers, nor the environment and specially not you.

PS: I'm a foreigner and live in a country with traditional good relations with the USA. Let's say simply this: Ford was an excellent neighbour.

Re:Prior art. (3, Interesting)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37839516)

anyone whose played Civ can tell you this one:

“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.”

Henry Ford

It seems somewhere between Ford and outsourcing everything we can to india and china, industrialists became looters.

Here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839484)

Another thread that will contain 50% posts about how Apple only makes overpriced shiny products that only idiots buy.

Those making those comments never used anything made by Apple or fiddled around with one for less than an hour with their pre-conceived notions about "Apple = teh suck", so they'll never really understand what the fuss is all about.

Let me make that extremely clear for you, both Microsoft and OSS fanboys:
- Too many options = BAD
- Only nerds want to mess around with their gadgets, regular people want to use them.
- Design is part of usability*

* yes, you can deride that stupid "hockey puck" mouse all you want, it really was crap. But it's not here anymore.

Cherry picking Jobs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839504)

Here are some things [businessinsider.com] attributed to Jobs by his official biographer that won't be appearing in any Slashdot stories:

Steve Jobs told President Obama he probably would not be re-elected [because] regulations and unions in the United States were crippling its ability to remain competitive. "You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs said to Obama.

[Jobs said] it was too difficult to build a factory in the U.S., which led the company to build manufacturing plants in countries like China.

Jobs also said teachers' unions "crippled" the education system in the United States. Among his requests to Obama were an 11-month school schedule, school days that last until 6 p.m. and a merit-based system for employing and firing teachers.

[Jobs] told Obama that the United States needed to become more business-friendly.

You may now resume your continuously scheduled iSpin.

Re:Cherry picking Jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839794)

Here are some things [businessinsider.com] attributed to Jobs by his official biographer that won't be appearing in any Slashdot stories:

Steve Jobs told President Obama he probably would not be re-elected [because] regulations and unions in the United States were crippling its ability to remain competitive. "You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs said to Obama.

[Jobs said] it was too difficult to build a factory in the U.S., which led the company to build manufacturing plants in countries like China.

Jobs also said teachers' unions "crippled" the education system in the United States. Among his requests to Obama were an 11-month school schedule, school days that last until 6 p.m. and a merit-based system for employing and firing teachers.

[Jobs] told Obama that the United States needed to become more business-friendly.

You may now resume your continuously scheduled iSpin.

If you think this will make Slashdot readers think less of Jobs, you must have forgotten Slashdot's libertarian bent. If anything, you just turned Jobs-haters into Jobs-admirers.

Oh, how can't I never find out?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839772)

Great to hear that Apple is focusing on their product... Let's face the truth, please.

It's apparently a lie when I saw the commercials try to vilify PC, no matter it's the "Hi, I'm what-so-ever" or the early "x86 snail."
It's not a behavior of "a company focusing on their company."
(I'm not Apple hater, I owned a Powerbook G4. And after Apple drop PowerPC, I cut off from Apple ever since.)

PR? (4, Interesting)

slasho81 (455509) | about 3 years ago | (#37839810)

This submission feels like pure PR for a book or two.

Steve Jobs was an arrogant fool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839834)

The man saw a PSYCHIC to cure his CANCER instead of receiving life saving drugs until it was too late. How much more evidence is needed?

http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/235295/20111021/apple-co-founder-steve-jobs-stalled-life-saving-cancer-surgery-to-visit-psychic-healer.htm [ibtimes.com]

Textbook _Innovator's Solution_ (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 years ago | (#37839868)

Yeah, this has been pretty obvious [slashdot.org] . Read the section on Blackberry in _The Innovator's Solution_ and their suggested approach for Blackberry is what Steve Jobs implemented with iPhone.

If you want to know why the iPhone is so closed when OSX was so open, turn to page 53 (I just made that up, I don't have the book in front of me).

It was published in 2003. The iPhone was released in 2007. Jobs is a solitary genius. Some of these are true.

"innovation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37839902)

Ugh. I haven't been able to take the word "innovation" seriously since... I guess it started when Bill Gates was throwing it around during the Microsoft antitrust trial.

This isn't a rag on Jobs; it's a rag on "The Innovator's Dilemma by innovation professor Clayton Christensen" and blogger James Allworth's repeated repetition of the word. What the fuck? That entire phrase reads like a marketing brochure. Notice that none of the Jobs quotes used contained it: Jobs spoke of products and passion taking priority over profit.

Somewhere along the line, honest words like "invent" and "refine" started getting pushed aside in favor of a weaselly vague new definition of "innovate". Innovation: when you want all the good credit invention used to give, but don't want to be associated with copying. "I didn't steal that idea, I innovated it". It's a cop-out; a generically good word devoid of strong meaning, so you can plaster it everywhere without being forced to back it up with concrete evidence.

Ridiculous fanboyism (5, Insightful)

FyberOptic (813904) | about 3 years ago | (#37839978)

I like how he still thought he was an innovator, when he admitted in his own book that another guy came up with the idea for products like the iPhone. That same guy received an award for it. That guy still works for Apple.

Steve Jobs was just the business man who could sell it. This has not only been blatantly obvious from the beginning, but now his own words back it up. So why are we still describing him as an innovator and visionary?

I can however credit him for being a good business man. And that's how he should be remembered. You know, the honest way.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?