Tips for Apples next successor

22 May

Now a record breaking winner of six coveted Black Pencil awards for excellent design, Apples Senior VP of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive appears to be a logical successor to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs’ unique personality and approach is certiainly unique however as we see Bill Gates make his departue it is not unforseeable to think that Jobs is now preping his successor to continue building on Apples now 30+ years of operation. Some things I think will continue to carry Apple into the next 30 years are approaches Job’s himself fostered in his approach at Apple.

  • Core Business – Apple should continue to stick to their core compentencies and venture out only when they feel confident they can get it right. (i.e. iPhone) Is Apple the only company that does their homework when it comes to market research?
  • Don’t get caught in beta fever – Embrace your customers but not with Beta products ala Web 2.0.  Apple is in the business of making good hardware and software so it is in their best interest to get it as close to right out of the box and not live perpetually in the guise of this is an idea we are testing. This is not something apple customers have come to expect and continue to do…Thankfully.  Apple TV aside, they have made a darn good second attempt where many others have failed in media delivery to the home.
  • Design – This is something that goes without saying that Apple creates great designs but they don’t just stop with hardware as it carrys through their software, interfaces, and new design philosophy.
  • .Mac – Please…Please…Please… get the .Mac functions working correctly. This is a prime opportuinity for Apple to bring some additional value in interoperating their different hardware platforms. iPhone allows photo bloging, favorite links syncronization between different systems and platforms, remote control keynote through iPhone/iTouch, etc…
  • SDK – If Apple wants to gain some serious market share then they need to focus on the developers. As great as Apple is at developing great products they would be wise to develop a platform and framework at which developers can generate solutions to meet chaning demands. Their current iPhone SDK has gone through 5 betas in two months. This shows tremendous progress and dedication to developers worldwide.

I can’t say I agree with Jobs’ approach with everything in business but one thing is certain and that is Apple will continue to become a dominate player in the years to come and errode marketshare away from Microsoft.


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