Archive for August, 2011
The media naturally takes an event and makes the most of it, and like to glam it up with dire (in Apple’s case) predictions about what the event means for the future. Industry pundits (and bloggers like me) must follow up all that breathless coverage by finding a fresh angle of any kind to veer along to get attention.
So, here’s mine: We are overreacting to the news that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple. People are drawing parallels to the disasters that overtook Apple when Mr. Jobs left the first time, which is understandable (“Will history – gasp – repeat itself? Should we sell Apple stock right now?“)
Here is a typical quote:
“The creativity and business moxie of Steve Jobs is, in my opinion, irreplaceable, simply irreplaceable,” said David Schamens, a portfolio manager with Invictus Funds. “Longer term, the company is going to be searching for talent that is on his creative level.” (from an article in the San Jose Mercury News.)
It is a mistake, however, to draw the parallel to his previous departure, for a couple of reasons:
- The first time Jobs left, he was forced out. His imperial, suffer-no-fools approach to management pissed too many people off. The Lisa computer had been a major flop, and the company was already struggling to recapture genies in their bottles.
- This time, Jobs leaves on his own terms, quite amicably, with staffers wringing their hands in the halls as he leaves.
- He has been “gone” for months, so this event is really just a culmination of a long transition of Jobs out of day-to-day management.
- He isn’t really leaving. He remains as Chairman of the Board. So his influence remains within the organization.
I like this article (aside from the somewhat misleading headline, another issue with online journalism today…), which takes a reasoned view, and expects the company to continue on as they have over the last decade.
The consumer friendly/design-focused Apple of today will survive this departure in much better shape than the Apple of the 1980′s, which wilfully turned its back on Steve Job’s vision.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Apple is not run by fools this time around. The brand looks in good shape from this vantage point.
I am pleased to be able to share here my latest column on Forbes.com, which takes a look at the perils involved with distributing coupons for your business through online coupon services, which are exploding in use in the wake of Groupon’s “success” (in quotes because the business model is still not generating bottom line profits.)
There is great value there, if you do it right. Click through to the column for some thoughts about how to calculate the financially the results you would need, and some steps to take to ensure greater success.
And let me know what you think in the comments section!
Two recent research reports confirm that we are habitual in our daily regimes. We like patterns and predictability more than change, which is why motivating “trial” of a new product or service is not like falling off a log. We must build those bridges of trust to get over the hurdles of mistrust.
Here is the first report:
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, video media sharing activities are becoming a real habit, especially (no surprise) with younger people, and (surprise!) more with Blacks and Hispanics than with Whites. Sharing electronically is embedded in our culture now, and will only rise in importance. This should not be a shock: This is just a 21st Century edition of our enjoyment of story-telling and socializing. New tools, old habits.
The key statistic: 71% of internet users (about 80% of the population at this point) interact with video sharing sites. And 28% reported doing so “yesterday!”
Video is no longer “the coming thing,” is it? How is your video marketing strategy shaping up? (Hint: I can help rough that strategy into shape!)
The second report:
According to the most recent Ad Age/Ipsos Observer American Consumer survey, 37% of newspaper readers do so out of habit. Mind you, 85% do so to catch up on “local news,” so the categories are not mutually exclusive. But, it does confirm that habits die hard!
If you are chasing an older demographic, those newspaper reading habits confirm that there is still life in the medium, especially for local businesses.