Esta entrada me recuerda a esta otra, propia, de 2012… la duda de dónde y cuándo se va a fallar

«successful companies do blunder»

Once upon a time, Apple offered an easy-to-understand business model.

All of Apple’s other services and accessories had but one raison d’être: raise the sales volumes and margins of the company’s personal computers.

The iPhone caused a substantial change, not in itself but because it caused the birth of the App Store.


Origin: Monday Note – Apple Business Model: A Naive Nostalgic Look

The magical iPod deserves more appreciation for its role in Apple’s subsequent fortunes. Its amazing success burnished Apple’s image at a time when there were questions about the Mac’s future.

Culturally, it created a taste for miniaturized devices; technically, it drove the Supply Chain Management discipline and connections that would become essential for the success of the iPhone.

iPhone happened and Apple insiders had an almost religious epiphany: iPhone apps are digital files, not unlike a song in the iTunes Store. Somehow, everything had been preordained to work for an Apple store: The infrastructure, the payment system and, just as important, customer behavior.

quarter ended in March 2021, Apple’s Services reached $16.9B, exactly as much as the $16.9B number for the combined Mac and iPad revenue, although still far form the $48B iPhone revenue for that quarter. … This changes the business model’s “center of gravity”.

What becomes interesting is how Apple leaders jumped on the App Store explosion to shift the company’s finances away from the old hardware-centric design that Wall Street didn’t like. … Perfect: a buffer against hardware seasonality and comfortable environment that tends to keep users tied to products and services, the famed Apple Walled Garden.

What happens to priorities, to company culture? What will be sacrificed and what will be preserved? For example, if budgetary restrictions are needed, what will be prioritized: the next Ted Lasso or the next Apple Silicon processor? … In reality, a crisis tends to be something no one could have imagined, otherwise it would have been handled preventively.

I don’t have immediate worries for Apple’s culture. But I’m old enough to have seen strong companies lose their way as their priorities changed and they lost sight of their strengths.

As many have remarked, history doesn’t repeat itself, it stutters. HP’s mistakes aren’t a model for Apple’s possible missteps. But one can look at the company’s weak Cloud story or the missed Siri opportunity to see areas where mistakes were made

I naively hope Apple won’t lose its device-centered culture, where the sharpest tech candidates still dream of working on the next iOS version or the next Apple Silicon processor, as opposed to working on Hollywood deals.