Many people and companies want to emulate Apple and study what the company has done. I believe that in trying to learn from Steve Jobs and Apple it is very useful to pay attention to what he did not do. In compiling this short list, I have used ideas and phrases in common use by managers and business consultants:
He did not waste time on the delicate distinctions among “missions,” “visions,” and “strategies.”
He did not use acquisitions to hit “strategic growth goals.” Growth was the outcome of successful product development and accompanying business strategies.
He did not seek to engineer higher margins by chasing rust-belt concepts of “economies of scale.” He left such antics to HP.
The ideal of Confucian speech is not to promote dialogue but to imitate nature’s indirect manner of operation
The kernel of good strategy:
1. A diagnosis: an explanation of the nature of the challenge. A good diagnosis simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of reality by identifying certain aspects of the situation as being the critical ones.
2. A guiding policy: an overall approach chosen to cope with or overcome the obstacles identified in the diagnosis.
3. Coherent actions: steps that are coordinated with one another to support the accomplishment of the guiding policy.
A strategy is a way through a difficulty, an approach to overcoming an obstacle, a response to a challenge. If the challenge is not defined, it is difficult or impossible to assess the quality of the strategy. And, if you cannot assess that, you cannot reject a bad strategy or improve a good one.
The brand is not the product. Therefore the brand name should not describe what the product does but reveal or suggest a difference.
The brand should have its own specific point of view on the product category. Major brands have more than just a specific or dominating position in the market: they hold certain positions within the product category. This position and conception both energise the brand and feed the transformations that are implemented for matching the brand’s products with its ideals. It is this conception that justifies the brand’s existence, its reason for being on the market, and provides it with a guideline for its life cycle. How many brands are capable today of answering the following crucial question: ‘What would the market lack if we did not exist?’