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November 8, 2016

What’s Wrong with Apple

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am


It would be incorrect to say that Apple is the same company today that it was under the helm of Steve Jobs. Sales are slowing. Innovation is barely alive. New products are non-existent. What’s happening is obvious to me, and it was obvious to Jobs himself, when he spoke about Xerox PARC many years ago.

Before going to Jobs’ interview (or, hell, you probably already skipped to the video below), what’s happened at Apple is what happens to most creative companies that suddenly lose their creativity: Corporate culture rot.

This rot has affected my own industry, book publishing, for years. I’ve complained about it before: In a publishing house, the people who get promoted to upper management are the sales and marketing people. They’re the ones who boast the results that make the bigwigs happy. The creative people, those in Editorial who actually make the products, they languish.

The reason that Apple was so successful is that Jobs appreciated the efforts of his creative staff. He valued their work.

Yeah, Jobs was an arrogant prick and all that, but his efforts resulted in the most insanely great company of all time. He valued new products, new ways of thinking, and understand about suffering the occasional setback.

The problem with Apple now is that sales is running everything. The creative people are shuffled to the back because upper management doesn’t understand new products nor do they appreciate the value of taking a risk. So the result is the stagnation we see with Apple’s current product line.

The same issue exists in publishing and really any creative industry. Take the movies, for example. Superhero movies are the rage now because they generate huge ticket sales. They aren’t art. They aren’t lasting entertainment. They take no risk because the salespeople who run the studios want predictable hits, not art.

In publishing, they want bestsellers. DOS For Dummies was rejected by every major publisher because it was too risky. Only because IDG Books was run by an editor (Mac McCarthy) did the book actually get published.

The video below features Steve Jobs discussing why Xerox PARC never took over the computer industry. It could have, but the reasons Jobs gives equally apply to Apple today. Watch the video and understand why Apple is doomed as company and why I predict we’ll never see any new, innovative Apple products ever again.

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