Remember when iPad was relevant?
Remember when Apple Watch was relevant?
Remember when Apple Music was relevant?
Damn, but Apple continues to accelerate the time to flop. Product after product, failing faster, looking worse-er.
How did this happen?
Some analysts — and I am not making this up — say that iPhone is “too good.” Too good, so iPad and Watch and a mythical Apple Television aren’t (yet) needed. Fuck but that’s a comical level of on-your-knees sycophancy. iPhone is too good. Makes me laugh every time.
The reason Apple continues to speed the time spanning idea to launch to flop is because Tim Cook has violated a once-cardinal Apple-Jobsian rule: disrupt thyself.
Tim Cook has exactly the opposite value system of Steve Jobs.
Tim Cook follows not the Steve Jobs playbook but the Steve Ballmer playbook: profits before all else. After profits, product extension. Do not disrupt. Not ever! Instead, force everything to go inside and through your profit-maker.
Profits are good. Hell, in business, profits are the very best thing ever. The problem, of course, is that when you follow the Steve Ballmer playbook as Tim Cook does so faithfully, you do generate ungodly profits — but also sow the very seeds of your own irrelevance. It’s already happening. Excepting profits, Tim Cook’s Apple sucks so hard.
Post-iPhone, Apple has done nothing revolutionary, obviously. To be fair, it’s profoundly stupid to think the biggest, richest for-profit corporation would ever do anything revolutionary. When you’re making the most and taking the most, revolution is the exact opposite of what you desire. Still, Apple is a technology company, right? Aren’t they worried about being disrupted themselves? (Gotcha! It was a trick question. Under Tim Cook, Apple is a premium luxury brand that uses technology products to garner more profits.)
It’s obvious to anyone not being well-compensated for being an Apple cheerleader, or those few remaining lost souls that feel a desperate desperate need to shield the world’s richest conglomerate from criticism, that Apple’s insistence on garnering still more profits via iPhone, has cost it not only its pirate ethos, but the fundamental driver behind everything it did: change the world, as crazy ones do, by making awesome amazing personal beautiful computing products that liberate, that unleash.
Tim Cook’s Apple ties us down, chains us to an ever-expanding, increasingly confusing ecosystem. His is the anti-Apple.
I know, I know. The sycophants and the me-too analysts will insist I don’t know luxury. I don’t “get” premium. I did, apparently, when I bought my Mac and my iPhone, but now that I mock the high-priced, minimally-functioned Apple Watch, I suddenly don’t get luxury. Jesus, I can understand that analysts can be dumb but to be dumb and clingy is just, well, unsightly.
In their effort to sell more iPhones, make more profits, Apple has transformed from the world’s greatest technology company into a marketing brand. And just as so many Big Corp’s do, the company is now all-in on product extension and using “urban culture” (read: bought cool) to make you think you’re like them: special, talented, ready to take on the world.
RATHER THAN DOING THE HARD BIT OF BUILDING PRODUCTS THAT LITERALLY HELP US CHANGE THE WORLD!
Look at this shit. It’s almost a parody of itself!
Look at how damn hard Apple is trying to sell cool, urban, hip, rather than build amazing products for you, me, everyone. Profit before disruption. Marketing before function. What a damn shame — and a tragic waste of all that Steve Jobs built and left behind.
Hell, even at selling cool Apple is failing!
Apple Music is a mess and Beats 1 is irrelevant — it has helped sell not one single device and almost no one on the planet listens.
Apple Watch sales are verifiably shit, dumped into the flailing “other” revenues category. No wonder Apple dropped the whole “luxury” schtick and is now getting rid of Apple Watch appointment sales — you know, because the beautiful people required a special appointment — and rushing product to Best Buy.
Damn. If Windows 10 is as good as everyone says, even Macs will have less relevance in our lives.
And all of this, every bit of it, is because Tim Cook has quickly transformed Apple into the Microsoft of old. Profits, profits, profits. Product expansion! Shelf extension! Nothing that might even remotely harm the Windows, er, iPhone golden goose! Like a good CEO, Cook has made iPhone his Windows. And, yes, it’s profitable. And if that’s what you care about, if that’s why you “love” Apple, because it now makes so much profit, more profit even than Microsoft, fair enough.
But profit-taking was *never* why I admired Apple and never why I purchased an Apple product. That the cheerleader blogs are now obsessed with “profit share” reveals just how utterly Apple has sold its soul. We don’t need a high-priced Watch. We don’t need fake urban cool. We need tools. And we want the best and we hope they help us change our lives, maybe even change the world.
Who will step into this void that Apple has so tragically scurried from?
Apple is the Microsoft of old. I hope someone soon steps up and becomes the Apple of old. That’s what we need again.