One of the main reasons Apple has been such a success in recent years is because of the amazing ability of Steve Jobs to develop products we all love. Jobs is a true visionary, and best of all he understands how to use technology to improve lives.
But how does he do it? He could be developing and marketing products that he likes, or he could be trying to figure out what we need/like and developing technology for us. I believe that Jobs develops products he personally would like to have and puts little if any emphasis on what consumers actually want.
So far it seems consumers like what Steve likes, so this strategy has worked out great for Apple. Some of the great products developed this way are iLife, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and of course OS X or should we say NeXT. Sure there have been a few misses like the Lisa, Apple TV (ok TBD), HiFi, etc. but for the most part, there has been many more successes than failures.
This develop what Steve likes strategy for Apple, and has lead to amazing profits and growth at Apple.(Was going to talk about the stock price here, but that’s not lookin so hot) Sure it has been great for Apple, shareholders, and consumers, but this is going to be a major problem for Apple when Steve leaves. Apple has turned into a company that is completely dependent on Steve Jobs. Others come up with ideas and develop great products, but Jobs is the ultimate decision maker on if new products get developed and go to market.
This has left a void at Apple in the area of consumer research, customer retention, and customer service. These three areas leave them vulnerable to a backlash from consumers as they continue to grow and Steve gets closer to moving to Denver and joining a cult of people who wear Levi’s and a black mock turtlenecks.