A number of contemporary technological and economic trends culminate in the fierce battle between Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and a few other of these tech giants. I have been following this “clash of the tech titans” for a while but it proves difficult to describe and qualify these companies well. It seems Apple is the hardest nut to crack and then walking down the row until Samsung which is the easiest one.
Conventional wisdom and tenets of business do not seem to apply to Apple. But also Google and Amazon have business models and strategic positions that defy conventional perceptions. In a earlier post I indicated that easy, simple explanations are not available.
(Via Daring Fireball) Even Ben Bajarin via Time Tech gives no explanation in Apples reality distortion field relocates to Wall Street“>Apple’s reality distortion field relocates to Wall Street but notes:
Apple is the most profitable company, can’t make enough products to meet demand and is the most admired by its peers. Yet Wall Street and media fanatics are claiming Apple is doomed. The reality distortion field is in full effect.
Apple has a lower P/E ratio than Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and now Dell, to name a few. I find this baffling and I would challenge any analyst to articulate to me how Apple is not healthier and stronger, competitively, in the long-term than many of those companies.
“Reality distortion field” is a beautiful term to describe the discrepancy between the image people have of Apple and the actual Apple company.
For me, Apple is best summed up by Steve Jobs himself in a keynote speech at the World Developers Conference 1997.
Steve Jobs has just returned, has not even been formally appointed yet, with Apple, which seems at that time pretty close to dying. With a hall from very dissatisfied developers he gives off the cuff describing Apple’s values and vision of the future that is still topical today. This is in my opinion one of the best keynotes ever (Note: The video quality is not great unfortunately, but definitely worth a view in my opion):
Another suggested video to learn about the qualities and visions of a still very young Steve Jobs is a meeting with new employees at the very start of Steve’s new company NEXT:
(NB 23 March 2015: translation of post originally published in Dutch in march 2013)
The problem isn’t that Apple has changed. The problem is that Apple has not changed, and their continuing success is proving that conventional disruption theory does not apply to consumer-driven markets in which outstanding design and integration (as opposed to modularity) can drive demand.
Apple is disrupting the conventional tenets of business even more than they are any particular product category in consumer electronics. There is something fascinating — in several ways unprecedented — going on with Apple right now.