Archive | May 2012

5 Principles of Apple in Their Success Story

Success story of Apple is not a mystery for over a billion of people who are fond of technology products since everyone can easily follow the rise of the company. I know there are plenty of books about Apple and Steve Jobs that talk about their internal-management ideas or secrets which became legend in business management. And one can find tons of articles about Apple’s main principles or even legends. After reading a lot about these, i think it’s important for every constitution to take lessons for themselves. Here i got my own lessons in the following 5 principles.

If you are producing something and if you want to make it like Apple, you can use this prescription:

1- Design in Principles: 3 design principles of Apple are (i) it should be elegant (ii) it should be minimalist (ii) follow the same design outline of company for every single product.

2- Produce easy to use products: This is what they called “user-friendliness”. To be able to reach the most user-friendly product one should try it hard and push the boundaries in quality control.

3- Add some innovation: Apple normally doesn’t invent a new product or product category. Sure, the company did invent the first commercial PC with the Apple II, and the Mac improved on PCs with a graphical user interface and mouse input. But since then, all of Apple’s other products have been recreations of existing products. Apple did not invent the MP3 player; Apple reinvented it and made it better. Apple did not invent the smart phone; Apple reinvented it and made it better. And Apple did not invent the tablet; Apple reinvented it and made it better.

As Apple designer Jonathan Ive said recently, “Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it.” Clearly, Apple applied that thinking first to iPods, then smart phones and more recently, to the iPad.

4- Provide Customer Support: Jobs understood one of the major conundrums of technology: even if you create products that are easy to use, the variety of things that people want to use technology for often creates complexity. Because of this, consumers at all levels may need some hand holding from time to time. I was one of the most vocal critics of Apple when it introduced its first retail store in Tokyo in 2002. I thought it was crazy for Apple to try and go into retail. At the time, and even today, tech retail stores are in decline while big-box stores like Costco and Walmart sell products on price and nothing else.
Apple uses this conundrum to its advantage. Because it keeps product SKUs simple, the salespeople inside the stores know the products really well. Notice that when you go into an Apple store and are greeted by one of the sales staff, you’re not asked, “How can I help you?” Instead they ask, “What would you like to do today?” They go right to the heart of any technology user’s question, a question that’s always related to what they want to do with the technology the user is interested in.

5- Satisfy Yourself: If you order something from a company, they produce it just because they can. Apple’s approach is quite different. The engineers who are creating Apple products actually make them for themselves. And Jobs was the chief “user” of Apple products when he was alive. All of Apple’s products are based on the fact that Jobs represented the real customer. And his engineers had to come to grips with that when designing a product. It has to be something that they personally couldn’t live without.