The main Issue
Many analysts have touted Apple as the greatest innovator in computer hardware and software products. Events that happened since Steve Jobs returned to the company defined the direction, which Apple would follow in the future. The main issue is whether or not Apple would be able to maintain its design and innovation for decades to come without Steve Jobs.
Apple’s Innovation after Jobs
Without Jobs, many analysts believe that Apple would struggle to maintain its innovation and thinking abilities. However, Tim Cook believes that the company would continue to innovate and design new products for success.
The CEO as innovator
Steve Jobs was synonymous with Apple. He had the ultimate role of ensuring innovation in the company. One may wonder if Apple still has a clear strategy for innovation after Jobs.
The relevance of operational secrecy
Apple has earned reputation because of its non-disclosure in products and innovation. This shows that constant and distinct product innovation has allowed Apple to be the best company with the fanatic consumer base and high-levels of profitability.
The situational analysis
Apple operates in the global market. The company products appeal to the global market through their simplicity and sophistication. A closer look at Apple products reveals significant iterations of successful products. Thus, one can understand how Apple integrates creativity and simplicity in order to deliver sophisticated products to its customers. The design and innovation at Apple embrace a diverse set of device product features to appeal to different users.
Apple has used its products, such as iPod, iTunes, Mac, and iPad to establish a relationship with millions of users across the world through distribution networks and purchase outlets. Apple has a created a market that is discrete. However, one must recognize that Apple is unique firm that relies on a non-linear and highest standard of leveraged strategies in order to create a complex market that is not simple to understand.
Apple faces a fierce competition from other technology firms. Thus, many industry pundits and analysts are yet to understand the root of Apple’s success. Apple has faced intense competitions from IBM clone computers. In addition, the company has operated in a rapidly changing environment where venture capital has driven new entrants and competition. As a result, Apple had to make complex decisions on target markets and products to develop.
Dell has also been a major competitor of Apple. The company facilitated the Web-based purchasing system. This approach created effective interaction with customers. Dell could build and ship its products fast through an efficient supply chain. Many critics praised Dell for its efficiency.
Dell introduced various types of computers, software, notebooks, servers, and support services to clients. The company attributed its success to a distinctive business model based on built-to-order and direct sales strategies.
Apple has created a large fanatical base due to its design and innovative products. The company has emphasized the need to integrate customers’ experiences in its product design and developmental stages.
Apple configured its products at higher prices relative to competitors’ products. However, the company managed to draw both non-customers and fans alike. This allowed Apple to attract loyal consumers.
Apple operates in a competitive environment with constant and fast changes in technologies. Moreover, competition has become fierce due to venture capital, which funds new entrants. This implies that Apple has to develop products that must appeal to the target market. Some industry pundits observed that quick development of several models brought about complexity at the company and consumer confusion.
Apple established unique retail stores in a competitive business environment just like its unique products. Apple outlets occupy upscale malls and other buildings considered to be unique in architectural designs. At this time, Dell and other competitors did not favor stores as suitable outlets. They adopted direct sales and distribution approaches while Apple embarked on developing its retail outlets.
Apple worked in its own way. This reflected a sharp focus on product and service delivery to customers. The business environment at Apple demanded a clear development strategy, innovation, and strategy execution with Steve Jobs as the chief innovator.
It is important for Apple to maintain its design thinking and product innovation in order to stay ahead in a competitive and rapidly changing technology industry. Apple must understand that changes in technologies, consumer demands, and demographics have resulted in new demands and diverse expectations. Thus, the company must maintain innovation and design thinking in all its products and services.
Apple after Jobs
The company’s innovation abilities will change after Steve Jobs. Many critics have questioned whether or not Apple will continue with its design thinking and innovation after Steve Jobs. Jobs prepared Apple well. The company is the largest in the technology industry and has conquered mobile technology.
Apple will rely on its financial strength to develop new products for years. Job made Apple to operate in specific ways that the new CEO may not match. Apple innovative abilities will continue to improve, but will not match Steve Jobs’ standards. Thus, the major challenge for Apple is to redefine itself without Steve Jobs.
The mere fact that Apple exists today does not guarantee its future. Consequently, the new CEO must continuously evolve its products, services, and pursue innovative approaches to product development.
The CEO has innovator
Technology companies require extremely strong leadership provided by Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs developed a long-term strategy for Apple. It is the responsibility of the new CEO to develop and communicate innovation strategies and ensure that employees fulfill them.
The new CEO must have the ability to redefine old products and adapt them to the market. The CEO must acknowledge that the technology industry poses some challenges because consumers have tendencies of buying new products based on sophistication.
For instance, if a competitor introduces a new product with advance features, then Apple’s fortunes may dwindle quickly. Therefore, Apple must find strong leadership to define its design thinking and innovation for success.
Steve Jobs maintained utmost secrecy of its next products. Thus, the company managed to set a high bar and increased expectations among competitors and fans alike. The element of surprise is critical in a fast-paced technology industry. Apple has used it to create a strong brand. The company must continue to protect its product, information, and design strategies.
Apple must inculcate the culture of secrecy in its corporate culture. The new CEO must emphasize attention to details, secrecy culture, and feedback in order to develop the brand. Secrecy about innovation strategies and product launch does not reflect a lack of transparency to the market or stakeholders, but rather protection of competitive advantage that competitors may find useful.