By Jim Karpen on Sat, 07/13/2013
I've watched two videos from Apple recently that give insight into why the tech giant has done so well. People simply love its products, and Apple's bottom line is evidence of that customer loyalty. This is all the more remarkable considering Apple always takes the long view, unlike most companies whose focus is short-term profits.
The first video is a simple animation with text explaining Apple's philosophy in a minute and a half.
I take away several main ideas. 1) Focus. Apple intentionally doesn't make a lot of products. As the video asks, if everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? Instead, Apple focuses on just a few products and tries to get them perfect. 2) Apple asks, "What do we want people to feel?" Every product in development begins with this question. Not how they'll use it, or what it will do for them, but how they will feel. Apple wants users to feel delight, surprise, love, and connection. Then, they design the product around this intention. 3) Great products take time. The video emphasizes that Apple spends whatever time it takes to get the product perfect, that "There are a thousand nos for every yes." They simplify, perfect, and start over until they get it right, until the product achieves their goal of enhancing each life it touches.
The video is a wonderful encapsulation of the philosophy of Steve Jobs. And its existence shows that the company is making every effort to maintain that philosophy now that Jobs has passed on. In a week, Apple will present its earnings for the June quarter. It will be the first time in a while where there wasn't a new product announcement in that quarter. No doubt earnings will take a hit. Any other company might have rushed a product to market just to boost short-term profits. But not Apple. Even though market analysts have been impatient and continue to question whether Apple has lost its mojo, Apple is taking its sweet time bringing new stuff to market. The video explains why.
A second video I really like is a 10-minute documentary presenting four stories that show the amazingly diverse ways in which iOS devices are helping people. And the stories are wonderfully inspiring. The first story is about a nurse in rural Kenya who has an iPad with him at all times as he travels around treating people. He uses the iPad in a variety of ways, including the Skyscape app to assist with diagnosis and help prevent complications. The second segment shows a young woman who's a paralympic bronze medalist and who uses an app on her iPhone to control her prosthetic feet. The developer himself has a prosthesis, and developed the app even though he didn't have a background in programming.
The third segment takes viewers to the Northwest Territories and shows how the iPad is being used to help the indigenous peoples revitalize their native languages, which are in danger of being lost. And the fourth shows a handicapped child who couldn't speak but was finally able to communicate with his mother via an iPad app designed to assist such children. His mother explains how the iPad and app opened up a whole new world for her child because he was able to communicate for the first time.
This video is enjoyable not only for the inspiring stories but also simply for the gorgeous cinematography.