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sduris
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Moderate to aggressive stock portfolio. Marketing VP for a Silicon Valley high-tech company. Apple evangelist for years and I am objective - when they do well, I cheer, when they don't, I say so. Economics undergrad. MBA.
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M4 Communications Inc. Insights
  • The "Steve Jobs Would Never" Dilemma  10 comments
    Sep 26, 2012 11:02 AM | about stocks: AAPL

    I thought this article from HuffPo was interesting. www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/steve-...

    Seriously how many times have you heard "Steve Jobs would never..." in the past year? He was a contradiction in terms. He had hits. Absolutely. And misses. Of course. October 5, is next Friday. He left us one year ago. How has AAPL fared - better or worse - since Steve's "departure"?

    What say you? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Disclosure: I am long AAPL.

    Themes: Steve Jobs, Apple, AAPL Stocks: AAPL
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  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (10669) | Send Message
     
    I would say worse.
    The scuffable case and the awful mapping system are examples of evident flaws that "Steve would never" have let slip by.

     

    Also, and worse in my opinion, is Apple's hubris now driving their decision making process. You see, it's not as though Google pulled the map system from Apple or was charging too much, Apple ejected Google's maps because it was "Google" and no other reason. Apple is falling victim to the 'not developed here syndrome' which I think will come back to bite them down the road.
    26 Sep 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • sduris
    , contributor
    Comments (576) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Luke - Thanks for commenting. I have heard and seen more security issues. Secrecy has been less - as communicated to me by inside Apple and by virtue of, at least for me, there were no surprises with the announcement on 9/12. Everything had already been leaked. The hubris that has ALWAYS bugged me is the law suits. Let competition happen, stick with your values, continue to be innovative and don't become complacent. That last sentence is my advice to Tim Cook. Your last sentence is so true. Product Development 101 is you lead with your core competencies; acquire, partner or third-party develop where you don't have capability. This is where true innovation comes from. I fear that AAPL may go down the "Sears rabbit hole of complacency". I am on the fence with did AAPL say no YouTube or Maps in iOS to spite GOOG. I always look for the good in people. :)
    26 Sep 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4603) | Send Message
     
    "Apple is falling victim to the 'not developed here syndrome' which I think will come back to bite them down the road."

     

    With respect, I think this notion belies a misunderstanding of what Apple is all about. Do you know why the iPhone was originally offered through AT&T? It was because Verizon balked at their terms. And when magazine publishers balked at the 30% cut that Apple wanted, in addition to not sharing the subscription data that is their bread and butter, did Apple cave? No. Apple was able to hammer the music industry into accepting its terms on iTunes (largely because the industry was failing), and they will attempt to do the same thing with video content.

     

    Why do these examples matter? Because they show that this preference to "their way or the highway" is not new. It's not something they are "falling victim to". It is in their DNA. It may or may not come back to bite them, but it is in no way a departure from the company that Jobs built.

     

    Apple and Google both have two sides of the same dilemma. In Apple's case it is that user data (location, search history, purchasing trends) is the future of mobile. There is a great deal of money and power in being able to leverage this data. Google is currently poised to rule this universe, and everyone knows it. Apple wants (perhaps even needs) to wrest some of this control away from its greatest rival or it may wind up doing little more than selling devices that run Google.

     

    Google's problem is that this data is their only source of income -- or the only relevant source anyway. They must preserve their footprint in the mobile space in order to have the data that they need to rule the world. It is so important to them that they are giving away software in exchange for the data it provides. Their risk is that companies like Apple and Microsoft may actually rest some of this user behavior data away from them.

     

    Make no mistake this is an epic battle for the future of the monetization of cyberspace. Every major tech company's future will be tied to this.

     

    If you're Apple, there is no doubt you want your own maps, maybe even need your own maps. Was this a substandard offering? It certainly appears so. Was it therefore a mistake to try and jettison Google? Maybe not.

     

    To use a sports analogy, sometimes in football the right call is to go for it on fourth down. If you are stopped and give the ball over to the other side, it can look like a bad call after the fact. But just because the results are bad does not mean the play call was the wrong choice. Apple's move was aggressive. But it was not arbitrary. They obviously decided they needed to make this move at this time. This was not something that could have been done overnight, so it was obviously a move they had been planning to make. To day that this suggests they are "falling victim" to anything ignores that they may actually have strategic imperatives in the course of running their business. Was it a bad call? Time will tell. Has it gone poorly? So far, yes. Would Jobs have done the same thing (or indeed did he make the call)? Who knows.
    30 Sep 2012, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4603) | Send Message
     
    And I know that was lengthy, but I want to break out a separate point while I'm on the subject.

     

    Apple's new passport will store, among other things, baseball tickets to some stadiums. When you approach the stadium, the ticket *automatically* displays on your phone.

     

    This little example is the future of mobile. Our phones will provide services that use context -- our location, the time of day, etc. Our phones will have voice assistants that will remind us we wanted to make a stop on the way home -- not because we have something we put into out calendar, but because they have "gotten to know" us. How do they learn who we are? From all the mobile data I am talking about.

     

    Your "phone" (or whatever we call our mobile device in 10 or 20 years) can use radio tag tracking to let you know you are on your way to your nephews birthday party, but you have left his gift on your kitchen counter. It will tell you your daughter will be arriving in five minutes. It will let you know that your boss will have to cancel his meeting with you at 2:00 because HIS phone just learned that he is headed to the airport(!) If you use your imagination and you assume that all you do and everything you buy and everywhere you go is stored in a database that communicates with other databases, you can come up with many stranger examples than these.

     

    There is the privacy issue (but really, having machines talking to one another discreetly might actually preserve some privacy -- you might never need to know, for example, why you boss canceled his meeting, only that he would not be where he said he would be). But no technology is really held in check by social norms for long. Technology influences social norms just as much as social norms restrict technology, so we may as well get used to the idea that our data will be "exposed" to the world in some fashion.

     

    So, to put it bluntly, control over this data is the "one ring to rule them all". The battle taking place is for control of this data.

     

    Now tell me again why Apple should sit back and play nice with Google?

     

    Can Apple's closed system win this war? Can they really devise a digital lifestyle that will be all encompassing and also incompatible with others digital lifestyles? Not likely. But they need to seize as much high ground as they can now to give them something to take to the bargaining table later.

     

    Did Steve Jobs see this coming? Are you kidding? Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon, all see this coming. Data is the ball rolling on the field and they are all in a scrum for possession.

     

    30 Sep 2012, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • sduris
    , contributor
    Comments (576) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » What AAPL is doing is Product Development 101. If you do not have the technology, you (1) acquire a company to get the technology (2) you co-develop or (3) you integrate a 3rd party solution into your infrastructure. Ultimately, you in-house develop and release product as your own. This is not new for tech companies, and it is not new for AAPL.

     

    Steve has always been a product guy and been focused on the user experience. I can't say whether Steve would/would not have done this or that. He wouldn't apologize. He'd make a statement, come out with solutions, state values and re-emphasize key messages. Actions speak louder than words. No apologies. Just actions - being innovative, making things better for users.

     

    How has AAPL fared without Steve? The jury is still out. However, there have been a few QA and security miscues lately. I hope it's just a case of AAPL finding it's way in the next chapter of its evolution.
    1 Oct 2012, 01:26 AM Reply Like
  • galaxy travels inc.
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    I foresee at some point in the horizon leaving the house in the morning we will not have to carry keys wallet /purse phone it will be keyless walletless our device will unlock doors start cars pay for everything debitwise....now if it would only get my coffee ready.....
    14 Nov 2012, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • sduris
    , contributor
    Comments (576) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Would that be cool? However, I still want to be in control. I don't want the government deciding for me.
    14 Nov 2012, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • galaxy travels inc.
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    political tinnuitus for the next four years.....
    14 Nov 2012, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • sduris
    , contributor
    Comments (576) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » also known as ObamaCare.
    14 Nov 2012, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • galaxy travels inc.
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    yep....he cracked a joke at some gathering...."yes I am Obama and I care"
    14 Nov 2012, 06:15 PM Reply Like
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