Friday, December 19, 2014

Favorite business writing linked to - on Apple

Following up on my most recent post in my "favorite business writing" series, that one about writing on Amazon, below are the best pieces of writing I've come across in recent years (and can be read without a subscription) about Apple:

"Tim Cook Speaks Up" by Tim Cook for Businessweek in Oct 2014.

"Tim Cook Interview: The iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company's Culture" by Brad Stone and Adam Satariano for Businessweek in Sept 2014.

"As Software and Hardware Advance Together, the Next Innovation Wave Rises" by Ashlee Vance for Businessweek in Sept 2014 – on the great advantage held by companies like Apple, Tesla Motors and Nest (now part of Google).

"Runner-Up: Tim Cook, the Technologist" by Lev Grossman for Time Magazine in Dec 2012 – from the Person of the Year edition of Time and on the Apple CEO. While the entire piece an interesting one, what stood out to me was mention of the hours put into his job. Remarkable anecdote from Grossman on Cook with "He wakes up at 3:45 every morning (‘Yes, every morning’), does e-mail for an hour, stealing a march on those lazy East Coasters three time zones ahead of him, then goes to the gym, then Starbucks (for more e-mail), then work."

"iPad: The PC Killer" by Peter Burrows and Jim Aley for Businessweek in Mar 2012 – covers Apple's dominance with the iPad and Burrows and Aley offered up some ideas that seem to make a lot of sense... with the first two being around why the iPad has done so well and third around business conditions it created. In terms of product success, the authors note both how Apple able to take a longer view approach to a market given fewer product offerings and that the iPad helped by being a follow-on product to the iPhone (a positive both in terms of consumer familiarity with the concept and Apple utilization of the iOS software and App Store). Most interesting to me from the piece was the idea put forth by Burrows and Aley that the iPad so dominates the market that competitors can't expect to simply offer up a comparable alternative and expect it to sell. If a product offering in the same pricing or performance ballpark as the iPad, customers will simply pick what they already know to be good. There is still success that can be had by other companies, but it either through breakthrough competing technology (which nobody has brought yet) or slicing off a piece of the market and going after that.

"Apple's Supply-Chain Secret? Hoard Lasers" by Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows for Businessweek in Nov 2011 – on Apple combining great consumer experience with supply-chain competitive advantage.

"Apple, with or Without Steve Jobs" by Brad Stone and Peter Burrows for Businessweek Jan 2011.

"Invincible Apple: 10 Lessons From the Coolest Company Anywhere" by Farhad Manjoo for Fast Company in July 2010 – lots of interesting things in list format from the company Manjoo notes as being now the largest technology company in the world.

"Commencement Address to Stanford University" by Steve Jobs in June 2005.