January 11, 2006

Think – and do – different

Apple is clearly not the biggest software and computer maker. If it were, it never could have announced what it did yesterday: a new array of Macintosh computers incorporating an advanced Intel processor chip six months earlier than originally planned. This is something that NEVER happens in an industry where multi-year product delays are standard operating practice.

“Think different” is more than just a marketing slogan at Apple. In researching
Bigger Isn’t Always Better I found a key attribute of successful growers is their ability to know when it’s time to let go. It’s what Jerry Seinfeld knew that his boss, Jack Welch, forgot. Last year Apple demonstrated this wisdom when they abruptly stopped selling the fantastically successful iPod Mini. Rather than let competitors obsolete the Mini, or extend it's market dominance by bulking it with unwanted features, Apple obsoleted it themselves, replacing the Mini with the wafer-thin Nano. Just how big might the Mini’s sales eventually have grown? We’ll never know.

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