It has been almost ten years since Steve Jobs left us, and we are now seeing how the legacy is slowly missing “the captain” of the ship. For many, not choosing Jony Ive as next CEO was a big betrayal to the “think different” motto… the idea of being a rebel, of being the round form in the square hole. Jony Ive was the person behind a design that not only have made Apple famous but are also icons listed in the top design regardless of the category.
On the other hand, choosing Tim Cook as CEO was something to celebrate in Wall Street. A person that did not share the same WHY as Jobs, Wozniak or Ive, but knew how to make things work (the WHAT).
So good is he at making the WHAT works that as of this writing the company is sitting on 193b$. But Apple is not anymore Apple. The revelness of having an Apple, a product that many would not understand, a product that was too way ahead of others or even too different, the idea of being different is not there anymore. Their products are still clean, easy to use, pure in design. But the problem is not the product design, is the lack of “being ahead”, the too many options and even the focus in getting more market cap instead of being the leader of each technology revolution.
Not long ago a company named Nokia was in a very similar situation. They controlled the mobile phone market, they even got to produce mobile phones, hardware, and software. They have more than 25 models at the very same time, from cheap to expensive all colours are available. But they forgot their WHY, they relax too much in the pile of money they were making and overwhelmed their customers with so many phones that once the iPhone came out many customers were amazed by how easy was to find the right model (if you only have one model, it should the perfect model for every single user).
For over a decade the plan was there, the WHY was clear. One or two models so perfectly designed, technological advanced and powerful that everyone wants to have one. It was so clean that we didn't even have to say the iPhone model, we just said “iPhone”. But slowly things are not clear anymore, even if for Wall Street everything is a rose garden. They miss a plan. They miss a WHY. They have a great manager, but they miss a leader. They may cash more money every month, but they are slowly ceasing to be the reference for many other companies, products, way of thinking and way of living.
Books used to be written about how clean the Apple Store were, nowadays they are more like a Mall: you don't want these headphones? Don't worry, just from apple we have 4 different options and we resell products from HC, B&O and Dr. Dre. Nowadays we can choose between 63 different iPhones: blue, red, yellow, black, white, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB… and this before we start with the paying plans… The lack of a plan is making the new iPhones, just like Nokia did, not be the best. Even if you buy the Pro Max you won't have all the colours possible, and for some reason 128GB is not an option, you jump from 64GB to 256GB.
Is there a solution? Of course there is: going back to clean. Two phones (three if you want to have a cheap version) and three colours: white, black and red(product). No more third party brand products reselling and going back to being the first. Use the money to invest in the most advanced, powerful products, remembering the WHY, the plan, the true values of “think different”. Apple doesn't want Wall Street to be happy, Steve Jobs never said that. Steve Jobs wanted Apple to put a dent in the universe.