Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Apple is different

Companies like Apple can enter so many different markets because they are able to inspire people. It is their fundamental beliefs that give them so much fluidity in so many different industries. Apple started out as not just a computer company but a company that set out to change the world by creating a computer small enough and affordable enough to fit in homes around the world. When Steve Jobs was removed in 1984, Apple started drifting away from their why and Apple became just another computer company. But, in 1997  Steve Jobs returned as the head of Apple and he brought the why back into the company with him. He changed the name from Apple Computer Inc to Apple Inc, and because of him the company has been able to break out of their mold.

Apple can produce products in any technology industry, and people don’t question it. They produced the Ipod and people bought it because they saw Apple as a company that pushed the status quo. People didn’t ask, “why is a computer company creating an mp3 player?”  When Dell attempted to enter the mp3 market they failed horribly because they were selling what they had and not why they did it. People didn’t buy Dell mp3 player’s because Dell was just a computer company making mp3s.

Here lies the most important point. People buy Apple because it tells them something true about themselves. Apple speaks to us saying, I push the status quo and I can achieve this by sharing my vision/belief with Apple.

Companies that achieve the Fortune 1000 status have all inspired people at one point. But since reaching that status many of those Fortune 1000’s have lost their why because they become so caught up in the what they do. Then there is a few companies like Apple who still embody the why, and make the market believe with them.

In order for a company to reach a truly remarkable status, they need to be consistent with their why. Why they started, and why they do the things that they do.