1) What were some of Apple’s biggest successes and failures? Describe why.
Apple’s biggest success stories are not difficult to find. When Apple creates a product that succeeds, they do it in a big way. Take, for example, the iPhone. Not only does the iPhone have a die-hard following of loyal aficionados that continue to buy upgrades to their iPhones on a regular basis, but the iPhone changed the way the entire world looked at cell phones. Beating the first Android phone to the market by a more than a year (Parrish, May 3, 2012), the iPhone took us from phones that looked and functioned strictly like phones, to multi-touch devices that combined phones, cameras, games and MP3s into ...view middle of the document...
Mac OSX is considered one of the most stable and effective operating systems on the market by many users and pundits alike.
Even some of Apple’s failures changed the nature of that market. For example, the Newton, Apple’s contribution to the PDA market was not a fantastic success. While cumbersome and clunky, the Newton had a feature that pioneered PDA technology—handwriting recognition software. The next big PDA that came out, the Palm Pilot, included this feature as one of its key selling points.
Two other failures—the round USB mouse for the iMac and the Mac Power G4 Cube suffered mainly from a priority of form over function. The USB mouse was soundly panned for being difficult to hold because of its lack of ergonomic presence. The Mac Power G4 Cube was attractive, for sure, but having a lack of a fan caused it to overheat and users soundly disliked the lack of expandability. The attention to design above and beyond considerations of usability is what ultimately caused these products to fail.
I remember the Rokr cell phone—Apple’s collaboration with Motorola designed to combine an MP3 player with a cell phone, never quite hit the mark. Even though destined to become one of Apple’s legendary failures, due to failures in ease of use, this early combined product clearly led the way to the cell phones we have today, where it’s almost easier to do anything BUT make a phone call!
2) How much of Apple’s success can be linked directly back to its culture? Why?
David Caldwell, a professor of Management at Santa Clara University was quoted in Businessweek as defining company culture as "a shared understanding of assumptions and expectations among an organization's members, and it is reflected in the policies, vision, and goals of that organization." (Merchant, 2010, paragraph 4) It would be difficult to describe a way in which Apple’s company culture does NOT link directly to their success. With an internal focus on continually performing with excellence, all in the name of forward progression of the company, it’s inevitable that the company would continue to demonstrate success in the majority of its endeavors. As Merchant noted in the same Businessweek article, “culture informs success” and he quotes Stephen Sadove, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of Saks as saying says "Culture...