Working Wider

After a flat day last Wednesday, on Thursday, the stock market plunged 420 points on the Dow (-3.7%).  During the same time, Eastman Kodak stock increased 44%. Did Kodak crush its earnings numbers?  No, second quarter earnings were a negative $3.96 per share as revenue fell 4.5%.  Perhaps they invented something as spectacular as George Read more

On Monday, Google announced that it’s engaged to buy Motorola.  Is it a brilliant move that puts Google on an even footing with Apple as a vertically integrated competitor?  Or is it an overpriced, gargantuan error that transforms Google from a fleet-footed software company with great margins into a hybrid hardware/software company with average margins? Read more

Anyone who’s watched a medical drama on TV knows when someone yells “paddles” in the ER it’s a crisis.  Everyone stands back as  high voltage charges the paddles, someone shouts “Clear!” as the shock rips through the patient’s chest hoping to kick start their heart back to life. It’s time we did that to our Read more

In his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, former GM, Ford & Chrysler executive Bob Lutz asserts that great products come from people passionate about the product, not MBA’s, brand managers or financial analysts. Lutz’s advice is not new nor is the choice as simple as he suggests.  Pricing, cost and positioning matter, so Read more

After a two-month absence due to other demands on my time (clients and cycling in the French Alps!), this piece sizes up the strategic challenges facing Google+ as it attacks Facebook’s established dominance in social networking. Your Toaster or Mine? When two people move in with each other, there’s always an excess of toasters to Read more

At Apple’s Q2-2011 earnings report, Chairman Steve Jobs said, “With quarterly revenue growth of 83% and profit growth of 95% we’re firing on all cylinders.” The momentum in Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Macintosh product lines suggests that doing well in 2011 is not an issue.  The more important question is what happens beyond that? This Read more

It’s springtime here in California.  Winter’s downpours are now misty showers pushed aside by the sun.  The pollen count is high as the early daffodils give way to other blooms.  The birds and bees are getting back to work. Spring triggered a distant but vivid memory.  It was springtime some thirty years ago when I Read more

The two previous posts in this three-part series (Profits Beyond Platforms and Inventing Customer Experience) provides lessons applicable to any company.  Apple’s passion for minimalist perfection, however, is deeply rooted in the unique genius of Steve Jobs and Apple’s culture.  It’s captivating, describable but very difficult to copy. Shortly after joining Apple’s original Mac team, Read more

This is part two of a three part series on the strategy behind the integrated product, service and content platforms that forge the Apple Fortress.  In Part I-Pacing Profits Beyond Platforms, we defined the three cornerstones behind Apple’s transformation: 1. Pacing for Profits – Apple sets a deliberately moderate pace that extracts disproportionate profits while Read more