Thursday, September 18, 2014

Product Management at Apple

There is a funny daily question at my family’s breakfast table: “Did you charge your iPhone, your iPad, and your iPod?” My wife and (usually) my daughter reply, “Yes, and iPeed, and iPooed, and iPoured you a cup of coffee too.” If that is too much information, I apologize. However, it makes a simple point. I never ask them if they have charged their windows-based laptops, those thingies that we are still strapped to in order to get us through the work / school day. That is a given.
Apple has done an amazing job of convincing us that we need multiple devices to satisfy our personal needs while at the same time convincing us that we only need one brand. You can’t take your iMac with you on a run in order to listen to music, so you need an iPod. You can’t scan the web on an iPod while on the go so you need an iPad. You can’t make a phone call to your child’s school from an iPad, so you need an iPhone, which is the solution to all of the above-mentioned situational problems but is not allowed in this discussion, so I’ll move on. Don’t’ forget that soon you are going to need an iWatch!
I am about “i"-d out! However, one cannot argue with the product management genius at Apple. One letter has become synonymous with Apple, and it is not A. I wonder (yes, sadly that would be iWonder, which I will never get credit for) what would have happened if Windows would have wondered. W?
At Apple, product management is key. Mr. Jobs and crew knew how to (1) conduct competitive research and implement SMART goals in order to determine where the company should go. (2) conduct an environmental scan in order to determine where they were relative to Microsoft and where they wanted to go. (3) Implement strategies to take them there.
The video from 1984 was just the start of the rebellion. In 1984, if you put a large breasted woman in tight red shorts throwing a sledgehammer at the image of corporate America, you were taking a huge chance. Nicely done, Apple.

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