Horace Dediu’s blog post The pivot quoted by @azeem
“Apple, since its inception, has always been oriented around its customers, not its products” argues Dediu, and that such a “priorities-driven company habitually re-designs its processes and its resources.”
And this is the point that most innovators miss. Products, or services, not customers.
Some more gems I got from the post:
Some would argue that even with a $43 billion revenue rate, ($80 billion billing rate) Apple’s business is still a hardware business and that comes with low margins, potential for disruption, non-recurring revenues and cyclicality.
This is not the case. Apples’s business has high margins (64% gross margin for services, 34% for products), has been resilient over 12 years while attracting hundreds of imitators at lower price points, and has loyalty and satisfaction which results in more than 90% re-purchase rates. Cyclicality is driven by seasonality and product lifespans, not competition.
Every company is bound by its capabilities but the best companies re-shape these bounds because they are defined by priorities.
A priorities-driven company habitually re-designs its processes and its resources. A resources- or process-driven company re-designs its priorities as its capabilities change.
Moving as it does between computers, devices, software, services, retail, logistics and manufacturing means that it’s not classifiable as an “x” company where “x” is an industry sector. Rather, the company should be classified by the set of problems it seeks to solve (e.g. communications, community, productivity, creativity, wellbeing).
This disconnect between what people think Apple sells and what Apple builds is as perplexing as the cognitive disconnect between what companies sell and what customers buy.