As I am refereshing the news feeds in my favorites RSS Reader in iPhone: iNews, I came a cross a BusinessWeek article by Arik Hesseldahl which he called: Apple’s iDecade. It’s amazingly to see the progress of Apple from a totality of Irrelevance in late 90’s to a world class giant in 2009; the year it maximized on its iPod and iPhone sales. Arik wonderfuly presented the historical struggle of Apple; thru their bleak to golden era. While the company revenues dropped to “to $6 billion in 1999 from a peak of $11 billion in 1995 and Apple’s share of the U.S. PC market plummeted to less than 4% in 1999 from 9.6% in 1991”; the number One Best Performing CEO on Harvard 2009 List; Steve Jobs never gave up, and continued driving the company through turblent waves and sharky waters. It’s then when Michael Dell, Founder and CEO of DELL is quoted saying: “Shut the company down and give the money back to shareholders.”
Arik noted that a $1,000 invesment in Dell in late 1997 would have given you $1,360 now; the same $1,000 invested in Apple at the time would be worth $45,000. You can till the difference! In fact, Apple “gross margin of 36.3% in the most recent quarter was more than twice that of Dell’s. Apple’s market cap was $190 billion as of Dec. 31, almost seven times greater than Dell’s.”
To go beyond the numbers and scratch something little deeper than the surface, I noticed that Steve Job return to Apple in 1997 had meant a lot! he is the resurrection of Apple. Such inextricable achievements would not have been made without visionary leadership; Level-5 leadership according to Jim Collins. I can also relate such tremendous success to Jim Collins Fundementals of the transformation from Good-To-Great, like; HedgeHog Concept [btw: I’ll be blogging on this concept soon…]. If we scan Apple journey in the last decade, we pinpont easily that their focus was simple and very simple on one area; what I prefer to call: Interactive Entertainment or IE!. Unlike earlier versions of mp3 players, the revolution of touch iPods created lots of fun to customers. Sharing, uploading and downloading music, videos and games wirelessly was some innovative and attention capturing. It takes the art of enjoying entertaintment to a new type of addiction. The moment you start using your iPod or iPhone, you barely have time to do anything else, and you fall in love affair with the gadget.
It would be impossible to happen without such type of a leader and leadership. I can easily imagine that Collins’ fundamentals of Good-To-Great or Jack Welch Four E’s principles are the way of doing business in Apple and behind Apple’s secret recipe for Success.
… Just keep watching how Apple is revolutionizing the world!… Welcome iPad, iSlate or whatever it is!
Mouaz Aref Al-Zayyat