Has Apple Reached The Tipping Point -rainlendar

Business We can take all the precautions we like, but eventually every system can undergo a shift that shakes it to the core. We see it with the weather when a rare alignment of meteorological events tears a calm environment to shreds. We see it in business when a dominant .pany or brand in a particular market is suddenly toppled. Mathematicians and scientists variously explain these phenomena in chaos theory, catastrophe theory and tipping point theory. Today, one major corporation that may have just reached a tipping point is Apple Inc. Somewhat ironically, Apples fortunes had already started changing course just as its stock hit meteoric levels in 2011. Then Steve Jobs died. The death of a brilliant business leader is a blow for any .pany, but its a potential disaster for Apple for three reasons. First, Apple doesnt just have customers like any other corporation; it has disciples, or more accurately, Jobs had disciples. He exercised a near-messianic influence over these followers by creating a quasi-mystical aura around Apples products, which some regard almost as sacred amulets and Jobs their divine creator. That was no mean feat for a mere mortal and it was mainly where his brilliance lay. He wasnt a trained product designer, software engineer, or mathematician, but he was exceptionally clever, had an inspired imagination, enormous ambition and a sharply focused sense of purpose driven by a sizeable ego. In short, he was a genius. Corporate bosses rarely attain the high profile that Jobs enjoyed. Indeed, most shun the limelight, which is just as well since few have anything remotely like his natural charisma. That brings up the second reason his death is so significant for Apple: He was more than a charismatic business leader; to many people, he was the .pany. That was a huge asset for Apple while he was alive, but with his death, its the reason the corporation is perilously close to a tipping point. The third reason his death is so significant for the .pany is that Jobs is not just a hard act to follow; hes an impossible act to follow. The new boss is probably a good CEO, but hes not a guru and, for the next few years, hes likely to be referred to as the other guy, whats his name again? At best, Tim Cook (thats his name) will be just another CEO of a large corporation well known in business, media and investment circles, but a grey man to the millions of iPhone and iPad users. He will have a mammoth task trying to motivate .pany employees used to the inspiring energy of Jobs, and he can never hope to receive anything like the veneration that Jobs elicited from customers. It wont be easy being the grey man dogged by such a legacy; yet, its likely to be the least of Tim Cooks problems. Threatening clouds were forming on Apples horizon long before Jobs died. Its products began displaying less than mystical traits. Whether the problems were with antennae, batteries, front glass panels or the iCloud service, it seemed that Apple was rushing models and services to market a little too soon because it feared the faithful might, well, lose faith. Apart from technical issues, Apple began experiencing serious .petitive pressure for the first time in years. During 2011, Samsungs Galaxy smartphone outsold the iPhone, and the other iGadgets like the iPad witnessed several significant rivals gathering on the horizon. Not least was Amazon with the Kindle Fire tablet, which went on sale for half the price of an iPad. Worse was to .e: the technical press accorded very positive reviews to Microsofts new smartphone operating system, Windows Phone. The New York Times columnist Nick Bilton, writing about the Nokia Lumia 900, which uses the Microsoft operation system, enthused I just publicly lusted after a non-Apple smartphone. A phone that runs Microsofts Windows Phone 7 operating system, no less. Catastrophe theory holds that too many unpredictable factors govern the world for humans to reliably predict or control them, so tipping points are inevitable. When one is reached, enormous change takes place. Usually, that change happens very rapidly and is virtually impossible to control. The disruption lasts until a new state of equilibrium rises from whats left of the old system, and the relentless march towards the next tipping point starts again. Apple will likely reach its tipping point in 2012. The .pany will still exist after the dust settles, but it will be a very different operation. It will be a tech .pany, no more profitable or innovative that half a dozen others. It wont be leader of the pack and its stock price will reflect that fact. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: