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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What makes Apple Great?

                   "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?"

 Said the young Steve Jobs when he convinced Pepsi’s CEO John Sculley to join Apple. Sculley immediately left Pepsi and joined a company which was just 4 years old and whose future was hanging with a thread. Today, the same company is one of the largest and the most valuable technology firm in the world. What sets Apple apart? How does apple have such incredible products? What can we learn from it’s founder? Here I listed 5 reasons that makes Apple Successful.

1)    Jobs loves beautiful products. He’s always fascinated with the look, the feel and the simplicity of a device. No ugly lines or holes going down on it. Every creation of his is close to perfection. Even the chip and the transistors inside are smartly placed so that they work exactly how they’re intended to work. Everything had to be beautifully placed and done even if it wasn’t going to be seen by most people.

“When I wasn’t sure what the word charisma meant, I met Steve Jobs and then I knew” – Larry Teslor, Computer Scientist

2)     Jobs always look at things from the perspective of a consumer. The belief is to deliver the best user experience possible. Forget Specs, forget numbers just focus on making the device work easily and flawlessly. You don’t need  a manual to figure out how it works, it just works! . When Samsung, HP or any other company sell it’s product they confuse the people with a whole lot of Specs and Data which doesn’t even make sense to most of them.  Apple’s approach is different. Innovative advertising combined with great product unveiling and keynotes results in better sales.  

3)  The reason Macintosh was so successful was that the people working on it consisted of musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happen to be the best computer scientists in the world.  Apple is not really a technology company, it's a design company. If you look at the iPod, you will see that many of the technologies that are in the iPod are ones that Apple bought from other people and put together. When Apple created Macintosh, all the ideas came out of Xerox Alto. Even the iPods derives some of it’s techinology from Sony Walkman players

      4)  Jobs has an ability to discover products, not invent them. Mp3 players and smartphones did exist before iPods and iPhones but the difference was they were clunky, ugly and hard to operate. He made them easier and friendlier to use. iPod still dominates the digital music player market with more than 70% market share. 

5)   Apple Stores  - Part of which makes Apple successful is the 100 retail stores spread around the world. Apple stores are always packed. You can go to the Sony center — There’s nobody there. You can go into the Nokia store, There’s nobody there. Glass walls, genius bars and the fit and finish of the store makes the buying experience a whole lot better.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Chrome OS sounds like a bad idea today.

On 7th July 2009, Google announced a bold move to enter into the OS market and take it head on with Microsoft. Back then, the popularity of Netbooks was on peak and sales were  high. Entering into the OS market aimed at Netbooks was a usual move for the company.  The idea was simple, Design a light OS which is tightly integrated with the Google’s services and search, have everything in cloud and make that plastic device a mere window to the user’s data and the Web. It’s been 2 years and a lot has changed since then. Apple launched iPad inventing a whole new category of Tablets. Tablet sales have already surpassed to that of Netbooks  and it seems like they’re on their verge of extinction. When people talk about buying a mobile internet device, Tablet is there first preference. Around  80 tablets were launched in the recent Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas and 50 more are planned this year. Compare to that of Netbooks, no single Electronics manufacturer is planning to launch another Netbook in the market.  It seems like the innovation in the Netbook market has began to settle. You get almost the same specifications as a year before.   
                                                                      Coming back to Chrome OS.  After using it for 3 continuous days, the initial impressions were not good. It is no different than a Chrome browser sitting on top of a Hollow operating system. I’d have used goodOS if I wanted something like that. With internet connectivity as slow as Indian Railway, the OS proved to be useless. It’s like they have created something a lot ahead of it’s time (Remember Newton?). I couldn’t enjoy the music, movies, the basic software and games I used to love on Windows. I couldn’t do anything. It was frustrating.  But wait, the OS isn’t designed for running heavy softwares and games, it’s only for the Web and Email. Sure it is awesome at running Web apps and surfing the internet but when you buy a device like that, you expect it  to fulfill atleast the basic entertainment needs of yours.  And this is where iPad comes in. Apple marketed it’s tablet as a complete mobile platform which you can use to watch videos, surf web, read books, play games and do other countless stuff. Chrome OS isn’t even close to doing what an iPad can.
                           To succeed in this crowded market of Mobile Internet Devices Google should consider taking the path of Android. Dumping or merging the Chrome OS with Android would be a good bet . Android Devices are in much better position today and they can’t go wrong with it. Having one OS will also remove the confusion between the consumers.  And that Hindi saying “ek se bhale do” doesn’t work here.