Jimmy Iovine willed Interscope to success.
And Steve Jobs did the same with Apple. But now he’s gone and Apple is hurting.
Tech is about a level playing ground, albeit an oftentimes expensive one. Everybody gets to eat at the buffet, as long as they can afford the entry ticket. But please explain to me the three different Apple watches that work exactly the same, that are evanescent products with a useful life of two years at best. Sure, iMacs came in different colors, but they were all the same price. Fashion is subsidiary in tech, it’s the cherry on top, never the whole enchilada. Functionality comes first, and a $10,000 Apple Watch works no better than one for $349. Which is why Apple has only sold 2,000 copies of the 10k Edition in the U.S. Proving that the bad press the company got is not worth the extra revenue.
How did they get it so wrong?
By not having a visionary who could say no.
Unless you’re making clothing, fashion is a feature, not the essence.
APPLE WATCH 2
Yes, Steve Jobs never employed research, but he also developed products he thought the public would want to buy. Only early adopters want the Apple Watch, and there’s no word of mouth. Publicity will get you started, word of mouth will make you triumph.
The Watch was dead from the get-go.
Maybe it should have been introduced as a hobby, like Apple TV. So people would have low expectations and know they were along for the journey.
The Watch tells time poorly and has a steep learning curve for uses you’re not sure you need. Sound like a winning product to you?
Of course not.
Steve Jobs didn’t play in all arenas, only ones in which he could win.
The Apple Watch proves there’s no vision in Cupertino, not that we can see.
And no one who can say no.
Me-too is usually death. Its success is predicated on market share in a world where there’s little penetration. Which is how Windows 95 almost put Apple out of business. And the truth is streaming music adoption is still low, so Apple has a chance. But it’s a little more complicated than that.
You see streaming has already won, on YouTube, it’s just that that’s free to the customer. So if you’re not free, you’ve got to be a whole lot better, and Apple Music is not.
Once again, Steve Jobs only introduced a product when he knew he could win. Design did not sell the original iPod, however appealing it might have been, but functionality/usability. The iPod was the first MP3 player that transferred tracks at high speed, FireWire instead of USB. Furthermore, the software eliminated stupidity. That’s right, you just plugged your iPod into your computer and the software, i.e. iTunes, took care of the rest.
There is no great advance in Apple Music. Even Songza had hand-curated playlists. So the company’s only hope is it’s so early in the game that they can end up winning.
One can argue that Apple should have truly differentiated its product. Maybe by giving less. No playlists, but easier functionality.
This was Steve Jobs’s credo, make it easy to use, with no flaws. Apple Music is MobileMe on steroids. And there are so many options included that functionality is crippled, users are overwhelmed.
MobileMe sucked and heads rolled.
Whose head is rolling for the bugs in Apple Music? Someone needs to be fired, someone needs to take responsibility. People are afraid to download the software for fear of it screwing up their library. I’m still waiting for a fix to library corruption, but Apple is mum.
Not only is there no admission of fault, there’s no manual. Steve Jobs may have put up a press blockade, but he was unafraid of explaining his product, which Jimmy Iovine and his cohorts did so poorly during the WWDC presentation.
Jimmy Iovine. He succeeded by being a friend to the artist, by working relationships. At first the money was Ted Field’s, but it turned out Jimmy just needed that to get him started. Jimmy’s biggest triumph was the 9/11 TV broadcast. Give the man credit.
But Jimmy’s no visionary. He had one success, with Beats headphones. You’ve got to have two to prove it’s not luck. Jimmy failed with Beats Music. Disastrously. Unless you say selling to Apple was a victory.
Steve Jobs had multiple victories, the original iMac, the iPod, iPhone and iPad, never mind the Apple II and original Macintosh.
But now the company is running on fumes.
Because it needs a Steve Jobs and all it’s got is Tim Cook, a supply chain expert.
Let’s investigate what has been achieved since Steve’s death.
A smaller iPad, whose sales have now been cannibalized by a larger iPhone.
A larger iPhone, after Samsung cleaned Apple’s clock with bigger handsets for years.
Software releases are hitting deadlines, but there are so many bugs loyalists are frustrated. And I used to be a loyalist.
There’s a fiction that corporations rule in America.
The truth is it’s all about individuals. Sure, a group can effectuate the vision, but it always comes from one person, maybe a team of two, certainly not a committee.
Jeff Bezos is Amazon.
Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook.
Larry and Sergey are Google.
Daniel Ek is Spotify
Evan Spiegel is Snapchat.
Who is Apple?