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Thursday, October 6, 2011

BEING APPLE-MINDED

Hello World,
Have you ever wondered why agriculture is the most important industry on earth than anything else……in spite of it not having a glamorous image as the other ones? ...that’s because agriculture satisfies the most basic need of mankind…food for survival. That’s the reason most of us don’t care to notice the price change when it comes to buying bread, milk and vegetables. We need them irrespective of their price. We may at times promise ourselves, never to step into the customer-friendly “organic only” chain outlets to help us from the insomnia we suffer from, after we spend a fourth of our paycheck on tomatoes that are just tomatoes. When was the last time we worried about an increase in the price of milk, sugar or bread? We might have noticed the price change but still went on grabbing the same number of milk cans and the same size sugar pack every time we went to buy them. There are so many products we don’t care about the price (We frown about sky-rocketing gas prices but do we cut down on our weekend drives?). These in the marketing world may be grouped under the banner that says Consumer Products. The companies that provide these products often don’t worry too much about attracting their customers, because their business, for the most part, relies more on the Supply vs. Demand characteristics of the regions they operate in. All they have to do is figure out the demand and supply the required quantity. Anything more they do would simply help them increase their revenues by margins that they can always neglect. 

What does this tell us? These businesses that sell consumer products simply have to satisfy the needs that mankind had, has and will have, until the world comes to an end (you know….just in case Bruce Willis fails to detonate the nuke on time or if the Mayan calendar turns out to be true). It is quite easy to survive the commercial battle in the domain that deals with mankind’s basic needs. It is not a joke to create a need, influence the demand and create a product that would satisfy the need and continue to be responsible for a whole new industry that would satisfy the same need with thousands of similar products. Although numerous companies have achieved this feat, Apple’s i-phone, in my opinion shall stand out as the remarkable example for such a feat. Nobody needed an i-phone. Nobody knew such a need could exist. But still Apple achieved this feat in style. It is true that I rally against smart phones. But as a marketing fan, I would salute the brains that were responsible for achieving this feat. If an organization can evolve successfully and achieve such marketing miracles, then the credit goes to the founders of the organization, for creating it with such abilities. Steve Jobs founded Apple and developed it into an organization that can switch gears overnight without an obvious proof of profit and still end up making huge profits. It has to be noted that Steve had his own ways and most people did not agree with them. What he believed as “out-of-the-box” was perceived to be “eccentric.” Growing up in humble circumstances, dropping out of college, getting fired from the company he founded, diagnosed for terminal illness, Steve always had a lot of things going on in his life. I have no idea how he fought all the adversities but he definitely came out of his troubles and guided Apple to successfully shift into the consumer electronics domain.  The world is also not used to seeing many companies shifting gears, decades after their founding and definitely not their hallmark success after the shift. 

Steve Jobs had his own share of the commercial “bad-guy” accusations at various levels but beneath all of those was an enthusiastic entrepreneur who would dream, believe in his dream and go all-out to realize the dream. I remember the finishing words of the famous graduation ceremony speech that Steve gave years ago which are “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” Well, what he did and what he said makes sense. He may not be a symbol of the ideal businessman but he definitely lived as an example of everything not ideal but yet successful in a unique way. Since the moment I learned about his death, I have been thinking if it would be appropriate to mourn his death. I am not sure about it. I think he should be congratulated on completing a glorious entrepreneurial career and leaving an inspiring legacy of eccentric positive attitude. He may be forgotten but his life’s positive impact on the modern world shall remain, in different forms, forever. For the marketing world, anything is possible if we are “Apple-Minded.”     
                                 
    Great job Steve!!!!


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