Be Disruptive like Jobs

There was muted silence as a frail-looking man in black turtleneck and blue jeans took stage at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco. Over the course of next hour, Steve Jobs took the hundreds on agog enthusiasts through one of the most anticipated launches of the year, iPad 2. Literally within minutes of the launch, the cyber world was abuzz with reports and analysis, with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, news sites, feeding the frenzy. Steve Jobs had done it again for Apple, he had ensured that even before the tablet was launched, people would be clamouring for it.

iPad’s success is a brilliant instance of how innovation can be truly disruptive. It’s not as if Apple invented tablets, the concept has been around for decades. In fact the first patent for an electronic tablet used for handwriting was granted in 1888. The first crystallisation of the concept was made by Alan Kay in the early 1970’s, when he came up with the idea of DynaBook. And yet whenever most talk of tablets, they start with iPad. In a less than a year (iPad was launched in Aril 2010), Apple has sold 15 million iPads in 2010 and 40 million in 2011. iPads account for 95% of the market. Apple achieved all this not merely by inventing alone, but by innovating, through careful evaluation of user needs and crafting solutions that meet those. The company is not inventive, but disruptive.

Going ahead, Apple can be a template for any enterprise that wishes to be successful. One needs to deliberately look ahead, peer into the future, and craft products and services that will be ahead of its time. In these days of hyper-competition, innovation is not enough, disruption is required. As IT leaders, you to need to pick a leaf from Jobs biography and make an attempt to be the same. Look at things around you, talk to customers, keep a tab on competition, check the flow of the tech winds. Study, analyse, evaluate, and once you have done so, do it again. Only through force and habit, can you be really be disruptive. Remember Jobs didn’t create Apple in a day, it has been around for over three decades.

Thus, put on your thinking hat and start with a road map. Who knows – in the times to come, there might be many iPad like successes from this ancient land. There’s already talk of Sakshat and Adam doing the rounds…

Does Apple hate India?

It is often said that much like an inamorato or a paramour, you either love Apple or hate it. Renowned for its path-breaking innovations, Apple products are much desired all over the globe, from a college kid to corporate head honcho. Same is the case in India as well. Going by the strengths of all the people touting iPhones or moving around with iPads, it will be hardly surprising if we are not as obsessed with the Mac Maker as the Americans are. And yet, why do we have a feeling that the love isn’t mutual, in fact it seems more of an infatuation more than anything else.

A clear indication of this one-way street can be made from the way Apple treats the Indian market. There is an almost disdain on how and when products are launched in the market. For instance, Apple today announced that it will be shipping the new iPad2 to 25 countries mostly European nations and Mexico by March 25th. The company has also indicated that the device will debut in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April. Yet there is singular silence when it comes to talking about India.

The few Apple-branded retail outlets dotted across in India, still sport the older iPads and are completely clueless on when and how the newer one will appear. Considering that it took Apple a good ten months after the global launch to officially launch the iPad in India, Indians will have to wait for some time. Leaving the patriotic jingoism aside, the market is rife with accusation that the delay in the India launch of iPad1 is proof that Apple treats India as a market to dump its old goods. The fact that it launched the first version iPad here at a time when it was in the final stage of launching the iPad2 only strengthens the perception that the company wishes to dispose of its inventory in India. Continue reading

Apple takes a ‘bite’ at Motorola; or is it Google?

In what could be termed as upping the ante in the war for smart phone dominance, Apple, the iPhone-maker decided to sue Motorola, the Droid-maker for patent infringements. According to reports filtering in, Apple has filed a suit based on six counts with the patents it holds on “smart phones and associated software, including operating systems, user interfaces, and other application software designed for use on, and loaded onto such devices.” The move does not come as a surpise since, Motorola had filed a suit against Apple last month on 3 counts of patent infringement.

The main bone of contention is touch. Apple, not surprisingly, is fairly touchy about touch technology and now since most companies be it RIM or Blackberry or even Motorola, are coming out with phones that let users do similar and more stuff like that of iPhone, Apple is trying hard to protect it’s turf.

Over the past few quarters, Apple has made it fairly clear that it will not shy from taking a legal recourse when it comes to technology, thus, when a few months back it had sued HTC, CEO Steve Jobs had stated, “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” Continue reading