iPhone Debacle Shows Why Product Flaws Are Unforgivable at Apple

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-10 Print this article Print


5. Take flaws to heart 

Because of its ego, Apple takes it to heart when it hears people criticize its products. In true Apple fashion, it responds with a level of venom that most other companies in the industry can't muster. After all, what other firm in the space could have taken an antenna issue as bad as the iPhone 4's and turned it on the competition without thinking twice? Apple doesn't like being told that it's wrong. And both its employees and its fans are expected to dislike it, as well. 

6. Never admit defeat 

Part of Apple's allure is its desire to never admit defeat. No matter how badly its products are getting beaten, the company seems to find a way to pull itself out of the fire with one last shot to save the day. Nowhere is that more evident than in the computing market. With the right strategies, Steve Jobs turned things around after making more than a few controversial (and risky) decisions that paid off. Today, Apple is setting record profits. There is nothing that Steve Jobs hates more than to see a competitor beat his company. Perhaps that's why Google's gains in the mobile market are so galling to the CEO. 

7. Remember attention to detail 

If Apple understands anything, it's that attention to detail pays off in the long run. Google's Android operating system, for example, might be selling well, but after using the software for a while and comparing it to iOS, most consumers will find that it lacks some of the flashiness of iOS. That doesn't make it any less useful-in fact, it's arguably just as useful as iOS-but it does leave some consumers wondering why Google didn't go the extra mile. In most cases, Apple goes that extra mile. It has become a staple of the company's vision. And it's something that it expects from its employees. 

8. Only Steve Jobs is indispensable 

If Papermaster's departure is any indication of how Apple is run, it's clear that only Steve Jobs is indispensable. What other company, cultural differences or not, would be willing to see the person who has helped the world's most recognizable smartphone succeed beyond most expectations leave without any remorse? It goes back to Steve Jobs' ego. He ostensibly believes that he is the key to Apple's success. Apple lovers and some employees might agree, but Papermaster was also integral to the success of the iPhone. Who Apple will get to run the iPhone team as effectively as Papermaster did is anyone's guess. But perhaps it doesn't matter. Apple has proved once again that only Steve Jobs' job is safe at the company. 

9. Secrecy reigns supreme 

A discussion on Apple's corporate culture isn't complete without mentioning its penchant for secrecy. Unlike so many other tech firms in the space, Apple's upcoming updates rarely get leaked. In fact, it took a mistake by one employee for the world to find out about the iPhone 4 before it was announced. Perhaps that's why Apple has had a long-standing rule that secrecy will govern success at the company. People who leak the firm's secrets, even accidentally, will almost certainly find themselves being escorted out the front door by security. 

10. Domination is everything 

Steve Jobs has one goal in mind when it comes to technology: domination. He doesn't simply want to beat the competition in the all the markets his company competes in, he wants to destroy them. He wants to make it clear to the world that his company can best them all. Steve Jobs has something to prove to the competition, customers and just about everyone else. And he expects his staff to help him achieve that. If they don't, they will find themselves working at Microsoft in no time.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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