In 1995, two years before his return to the company, Steve Jobs gave a characteristically blunt answer when asked why Apple found itself struggling in the early to mid 1990s. The issue, he said, was that Apple had gotten greedy.
What ruined Apple wasn’t growth … They got very greedy. Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years… What that cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.
Much has changed since then, of course. Apple has a substantial market share in both the personal computer and mobile markets, demonstrating that the two goals – growth and profitability – are not mutually exclusive. This is not an ‘Apple is doomed’ piece, nor anything like it. But I do wonder whether the company is once more putting short-term profits ahead of long-term brand loyalty … ? expand full story