Is Apple becoming a rotten company? Has this industry giant become complacent and ready to rest on its laurels instead of remaining the leader it has been?
With a history of over 90 radical innovations that gave rise to growth and origin in over 60 markets, it seems that market dominance and success have instead bred complacency in this industry giant. Like other innovative leaders such as Sony, Hewlett Packard, Blackberry and Kodak, to name a few that were at the top of their respective markets when the downhill slide began, has Apple gone into decline?
While critics often blame the rise of external technologies being the cause for a company’s demise that is often instead a superficial cause. In most cases the upstart revolutionary innovations that catapulted firms such as Apple to fame were also being looked at deep within the research bowels of dominate companies. But too often the innovations were held back or ignored due to lack of support or the fear that a risk- adverse culture wouldn’t accept them. This fear stemmed from the big name company not wanting to take the risk and instead remain complacent in order to maintain market stability.
This is often called the “incumbent’s curse”, and is especially poignant in the case of Apple as the tech giant has always seemed to heavily rely on a from the top-down model when it comes to developing and management of innovations. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs took hands on approach to this and not only directed the firm’s entry into broad markets but kept a close watch on the daily progress of many products.
While this type of approach has worked for Apple in the past, experts wonder if an opposite approach might be a better way to become more stable and robust in the long term. Developers know that innovation is filled with failures and numerous missteps before that one sweet success comes along. Anyone involved on a close working level with hi-tech development also knows that it is difficult for one person to get it right all of the time as well.
Would Apple be better off to learn to rely on “group wisdom” from both inside and outside sources? To call upon the experience and knowledge of both employees and third party developers? Some critics might say that if they don’t want to keep losing valuable ground they need to change the game plan.