Assignment 1: Problem-Solving
Is Apple lost without Steve Jobs
In the article "Is Apple lost without Steve Jobs" (Computerworld, September 21, 2012), Mike Elgan, a self-described "technology and lifestyle innovation writer,"1 argues that Apple spread a magic spell on the consumers of electronic products while Steve Jobs was alive, but that after his death in October 2011 the magic of Apple is just not there anymore. He thinks that Apple is missing Steve Jobs big time: his direct guidance, charisma, “iron will, an incredibly keen intuition and hard-won wisdom about which ideas are likely to work.”2
What Elgan refers to when he speaks about magic is that the new management did not use the ‘black veil’ when they announced new products in September last year the way Jobs did: there wasn’t any mystery or surprises surrounding new iPad or iPhone 5 before their debut. The consumers already knew almost everything about the products. Elgan is clear: it is not about Apple’s performance, as it is still doing ‘conspicuously’ well on the market. It is purely about the magic. I agree: the unknown is enchanting.
So what this different Apple can do to charm its fans again? Since the new management under Tim Cook chose transparency over secrecy, it has to resort to different ‘enchantments’ to win its fans over. Hence, I would suggest that Apple: 1) invest more in the new technologies not to miss big opportunities and to stay ahead of the competitors, 2) ask the consumers what they want and expect to see on the market and how much they want to pay for that, and 3) keep creating compelling and clever advertisements to get the message through.
Jobs did not shrink from huge investments to create ‘insanely great’ products. He practically convinced consumers that they could not live without Apple’s ground-breaking devices like iPod, iPhone, and iPad. If in the next few year period Apple comes up with something that Samsung, Android, or Microsoft do not have, something that takes our breath away and improves our lives in the process, that would bring the magic back. For that to