Ten Apple Traits That Every Small Company Should Emulate
With the recent resignation of Steve Jobs, I began contemplating the company he built more than 30 years ago with a Woz and a dream. Apple Computer, which recently (briefly) overtook Exxon/Mobil as the world’s most valuable company, has had its share of ups and downs. Just a little over a decade ago, they were teetering on the edge of irrelevance, losing ground to new manufacturing and software entrants. Today, however, the company has a total value close to $350 Billion, legions of loyal evangelists and, despite Jobs’ recent announcement, a very bright future under new CEO Tim Cook as the sitting-architect-in-residence of modern computing and electronics.
They didn’t get there by accident. At Apple, Inc., there is a culture of progress, and businesses at the micro level can learn a lot by examining Apple’s behavior. Sure, most of us may never get to their size or influence, but that doesn’t mean small and midsize businesses – in virtually any category - can’t wield the same traits and characteristics and, hopefully realize similar successes.
Here, the top 10 fundamental traits of Apple that any small and midsize company can emulate:
1. Embrace Innovation. Apple has embraced innovation in virtually every aspect of their business. Not just in the products they develop, but in how they manufacture them, ship them, sell them, update them, service them and finally obviate them with new and improved models. Embrace technology, look for avenues to optimize performance from your team, and adopt a culture of “what can we do next, what can we do better?” at your company to emulate this enviable trait.
2. Anticipate (and even create) Consumer Needs. One thing Apple does very well is think ahead, and think deep into the hearts and minds of their consumers. No one ever thought that they needed a telephone, AND an Internet browser, AND an email client AND an iPod AND an app player, all in one simple device. But when Apple created iPhone, everyone suddenly NEEDED one. Why just give your customer base what it wants, when you can give them more than that, or better yet, something they don’t know they want yet? It’s a great way to bond to consumers and, in strategic terms, to immediately dominate the category in which you operate.Continued on the next page