The Fall of Apple

I am a big Apple fan.

2003 – The first laptop I bought when I left my hometown and when study in Paris was an Apple. I stayed with Apple since that. At that time, my boyfriend was studying to become a software engineer and was nagging me:
bf – “Why would you buy Apple, a computer that doesn’t have the best performance but is much more expensive than others?”

me, being provocative and also very honest:
– ” Because it is pretty. It makes me feel happy and good about myself”.

2004 – After the laptop I bought myself the ipod shuffle when I was in Japan and customized it with a Hello Kitty skin.

2008 I bought myself the ipod mini, red.

2010 I was not convince by the iphone, I was thinking I want a phone just to call, and other device for music and entertainment. So I bought the iPod Touch.

2011-2013 I have been thinking to buy myself the latest iPhone but was always short of cash and couldn’t find a way to justify so much money on a phone.

2013 Next week I will buy myself the Samsung Nexus. (death silence).

I still love Apple, and for laptop, I have no plan to switch to another OS. But the thing is I see the small signs of decline in Apple products and companies.

The latest laptop I bought is not performing up to my expectation, sometimes it is super slow, even if I habe 8GB. It goes to sleep with no reason, the electrical plug doesnt work all the time… I dont know I am just a bit disappointed in my MacBook. Yes I bought a MacBook to be a little retro and not join the mainstream of MacBook Pro or Air. But now I find it a bit too thick.

Also my friend gave to me her old iPhone 3 and it is cool and slick, but super super super slow. I can not launch the facebook app. It is too slow to go online with wifi, I end up using it as a dumb phone. And anyway most cool apps I want to have are not compatible with the version.

Maybe I haven’t try hard enough to fix my laptop and iphone shortcoming, but that’s the thing. I didn’t choose Apple to then be tolerant of its weakness, I choose them because of their reputation of being top performer. And they are failing. Sure if you like a team you root for them in thin and thick but there is something else about Apple.

After Steve Job passed away I thought “How will be the world after Steve Job?”. And the world kept turning. And I thought “I guess Apple will be fine and as a great company”. But reading Steve Job biography I realize it won’t.

Tim Cook seems like a great guy, a high performer. But in Steve’s word: “He is not a product guy”. Basically he is a great captain when he has someone – a visionary – to give direction. I dont believe in can be the person who give the direction (no offense Tim!). He might be better than most at leading Apple but he is no Steve Job. And don’t get me wrong I dont think Steve Job is irreplaceable. He is like all of us. But Tim Cook is not the one to bring back the magic at Apple.

Apple is a cult. And what is the difference between a cult and a religion? For me, a cult is about one person. A religion is about an-ongoing community. This week the Christians have a new pope. There is a clear process to replace the pope and even if the religion / faith of the followers will be impacted by the personality of the pope, the church make it so that it impacts at less as possible.

Apple? not the case. Everything as been make to be about Steve. Like his Board of Directors. And that’s typical from people who fear abandon. He set up the ground for the company to fail after his disparition so that the world will remember: “It was better when Steve was around”. And that include choosing Tim Cook as CEO to replace him.

Another clue for Apple is not make to be a self-walking company (can not survive without Steve Job) are their products themselves. You buy an iPhone 3 and it become obsolete as soon as the new version come out? Apps are not retro- compatible? WTF?
It is like a person an insecure person telling you: “Yes you married me but now I’m different so you have no choice but adapt !”
I personally am not a big fan of threat in personal relationship. And the fact that Apple doesn’t value their community enough to ensure the best user experience for all their device is very disappointing.

One great CEO from my hometown, Alfred, was explaining how building a company is really just about building a system. You create a product but also a system to make sure the production of the same product quality will continue no matter what. And you sell the whole thing as an exit, not just the product. He is a great CEO with 2 companies but travels most of his time. He empowered people in both company to move forward without him micro-managing. He just advice or come help when needed.

In my view, this is how CEO should be.

About Carole (code name 烤肉)

I work in tech since 2008, moved from Reunion island to Paris, Beijing, San Francisco and ended up in Berlin in 2014.
This entry was posted in Being an entrepreneur, Personal Experience, Tech, Values. Bookmark the permalink.

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