Doing Business with the World.
With the last launch of iphone5, I was interested what we can really learn of Apple as a start-up or small/medium company. I wanted to have a look further then the marketing, the jokes, the complains, the iFollowers etc.
About myself, Yes, I regularly post ‘jokes’ on Apple, yes I have shares of Microsoft and yes I use Android right now. (after using iPhone from 1 to 4).
Apple, the coolest company in the world, with Steve Jobs who was a visionary, almost a God from some. The story of Apple itself is interesting, from start-up , even lost, firing there creator, brought him back in, revolutionise the way we use mobile phones and how we consume mobile Internet.
So what did I found out about Apple?
Surprisingly, I found out what I called a conservative, real business. Yes Apple is this. The are almost the antidote of the new start-ups spirits in other big companies like Facebook, Google..
First, they design, invent, create a new product, completely in secret. Many articles and book are published on this subject. Nowadays, you see start-ups promoting them on Start-up Weekends, Promoting them to Angels and VC’s. Apple doesn’t need VS & Angels with the cash they have, but even in the past, secrecy was standard.
Lession 1: In my opinion, start-ups should have a bit more secrecy also. To make a product, to make something work AND to find a way to make this product profitable without the need of investment. Investment doesn’t mean you have a selling product, having clients means you have a good product. Ask yourself, how do I want to make money? By selling my company as main goal or to make a product/service that sells.
Note: This is not a message against VC’s and Angels, this is a message to start ups to use the VC’s and Angels in a different way.
Apple makes great products, great is subjective. Great in a way they made it simple that all users can use it easily, a great product on characteristics, or great in how to connect there different products work together (like Microsoft). All depends who you are, how you look at things and why you need the service/product.
When Apple launched the iPhone5 many people where dissapointed, they expected a revolution, this time Apple adapted the iPhone to the market request. So they did a great job as a company. Samsung brought out bigger screen and it was a success, yes people wanted a bigger screen because Apple learned us how to use mobile internet.
Lesson 2: Adapt to the market. Don’t be afraid to make small changes to adapt to the market. You don’t have to be revolutionising everytime, This would cost you a lot of money and probably you will not reach the big audience you expected. Have a look around you when you buy things, most of the time you don’t buy the coolest products, you buy products that fits your needs at that time, of course we want all to have a state of the art Lexus, most of us buy Toyota. of course we want all the state of the art TV screen, still we buy one within our budget.
In my opinion, Apple is still #1 when it comes to smartphones, so now they gave themselves some extra time to invent something great and meanwhile they adapted to the market demand, keeping their position. I call this smart strategy
The Apple Maps Issue, is it a real issue? of course we compare to Google Maps which hadthere issues as well when they launched there maps. I remember also jokes about missing cities or villages that didn’t even exists in the real world. Still everyone forgot about this and say Google Maps is the best. This will happen also with Apple Maps, now we are joking, Apple is working in secret to solve the issue AND Tim Cook apologised to the users.
Did you read well this message? For me it is one of the best sales talk ever!!! He apologised (make a good move in negotiations with the user, takes away the pressure), he told you they are working hard on it and it will be solved soon (meaning, we will make it work, so you didn’t buy a wrong phone, giving positive perception for the future, user are feeling good) , he proposed to use competitors app meanwhile, so he offers a solutions, which keeps the user happy with the iPhone5. Don’t complain, you have perfect maps on your phone).
Lesson3: Don’t be afraid to bring out something that is 100% correct, be prepared to offer a solution and fix the issue (I am talking about small issues alike clouds on some cities). Be ready to communicate with your clients. Clients make buying decisions in the future certainly related to the services you offer, the perception they have from you.
A personal example of my companies. I have a Tourism Platform for hotels to generate directbookings, as well for travel agencies and tour operators. One day we brought an update online and yes it went wrong, A client in Thailand contacted us as she wanted to upload new packages urgently and it didn’t work. Myself and my team immediately started uploading the data ourselves and the same day, she received a message that all her information is correct online. Results, I received a very nice email from her to thank us, even we made a mistake in the first place. Offering this service created a happy client and meanwhile the team solved the issue, we are all back at normal and happy
Any other lessons you learned from a company as Apple?