Apple’s Focusing

Focusing on a few products is characteristic for successful companies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that other companies following a different strategy are unsuccessful. But focusing on a few products, trying to bring features and services together in a unique environment, and developing new products which seamlessly fit into this environment is the strategy of the most valuable and innovative company in the world, it’s Apple.

Steve Jobs said …

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.
(WWDC 1997)

See this video with another famous quote about focus and simplicity (38 sec)

The actual offer of the company still follows this principle. The brands focus is on providing a superior customer experience by offering solutions from a single source.

  • Hardware
  • Operating systems
  • Software
  • Services
  • Stores

To be successful project to project over a long period, a company has to develop habits that instill a passion for quality in all corners of the organization. This can be achieved by following these rules:

  • 1 Set up clear expectations
    It’s the job of leaders to be clear about the company’s nonnegotiable core values. They are the riverbanks that help guide all employees as they refine and improve on performance and excellence.
  • 2 Collect and analyze data
    Collecting data is more common than ever, particularly with the advent of Web analytics. The metrics to be tracked go above and beyond either web or financial information as well as direct contact to customers.
  • 3 Invest in capacities
    A company stretched thin on resources will never be able to overdeliver, and quality depends somewhat on the ability to exceed expectations. An infrastructure has to be created that anticipates revenue.
  • 4 Celebrate victories
    When a company surveys customers on the quality of service, make sure that everyone, from the top down, knows of the results and receives recognition for the things that are going well.

This all builds the DNA of a successful company. CEOs and all employees in the headquarter as well as in stores must be integrated in the process of engagement.

The product line …

A product line up has to reflect the companies care values and the clearly defined targets. This is why Apple’s product line up is restricted to a handful number of hard- and software products targeted at a perfect user experience. If you look at the Apple Store there are many other products of sought out vendors available to give other companies the chance to participate in the companies success. That attracts others to at least boost the business. An outstanding example is the App Store with more than 1m apps (as of Jan 2014) and more than 200k registered app developers. They all breath life into Apple’s hardware offer. As you can see even Apple’s software offer is restricted to a handful products which just top the user experience off.

Here is a mind map showing the complete product line up of Apple.


Please tap on these single images to see parts of the map.

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP

The ecosystem …

Analyzing all main products, extracting them, and re-organizing them we get the components of Apple’s ecosystem.

This concept covers

  • Customer relationships
    Apple Store
    Apple Care
    Genius Bar
  • Completeness
    iPhone and iPad for mobile computing
    Macs for professional tasks
    AirPort router for Internet connection
    Apple TV, iTunes, and Airplay for entertainment
  • Simplicity
    Focusing on essential features and seamless usage as the main target of the design philosophy.

There are two operating systems and specs of all hardware components are an integrated part of the development. Keeping hardware and software development together results in the highest possible performance and user experience. Success then is forced by an outstanding design.

Summary …

It’s not the junk market Apple is interested in. Steve Jobs, returning to Apple in 1996, defined the direction with a focus on an entire user experience. Tim Cook is following this strategy and there is no need to move into diversity because this business concept works perfect and competitors are on the way to copy this strategy. There is Samsung working on an own operating system, Microsoft with the XBox and it’s Surface computer, and Google with it’s mobile device Nexus. It’s the only way to stop fragmentation and increase the user experience.

Related links …

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

Designed by Apple in California

Apple’s Ecosystem

Two Ecosystems

Thanks for surfing by.