Apple Inc. SuccessStory
Its fairly common for a company to dominate an industry and then disappear. It's more more rare for a company to dominate multiple industries for years at once while continuing to innovative in many others. For Steve Jobs, Apple cofounder and former CEO, the goal of Apple wasnt simply to create great products, but to create a lasting company that will influence the world for generations.
Looking at Apple shortly after Jobs death, its safe to say that he may have been right with his long-term predictions. With large cash reserves, one of the best upper management teams in the industry, and a slew of mega-successful products.
Apple Inc. formerly known as Apple Computer has the next few years to expand even further, building its phone and storage empires simultaneously. But things havent always been good for Apple. Founded in the mid-1970s in Jobs garage with his high school pal Steve Wozniak, the company initially started out creating phone pranker tools for people aiming to avoid the high fees attached to long-distance calling. Jobs and Woz expanded into computers, creating pre-built PCs for their friends at a local Homebrew Computers Club.
The business took off, and Apple moved into making business PCs, namely their key product for the next generation – the Apple II. With the whole world paying attention to their products, Jobs looked for long-term management options for the company, settling on the CEO of Pepsi, John Sculley. For two years they worked together closely, until the pairs relationship took a nasty downward turn.
Sculley ousted Jobs, taking control of the company and leaving Jobs without a job at a company he had been instrumental in creating. Wozniak, out of the picture due to a piloting injury, also decided to leave the company. For close to fifteen years, under the management of Sculley, and later a new CEO named Gil Amelio, Apple took a turn for the worst, pumping out uninspired products.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
The companys market share fell, its following slimmed out, and its position as a previous leader in computing slid far down the ladder. Broke and barely avoiding bankruptcy, Apple made a desperate investment in Jobs new business, NeXT, an enterprise computer company.
The startup was acquired by Apple, and Jobs stepped back into the drivers seat at the company he had created long before.
Since Jobs return, Apples philosophy has returned to its roots. Instead of boring beige boxes, its a leader in innovative products and new strategies. Against the advice of expert consultants, Apple is now involved in the music, multimedia, retail, and tablet industries, dominating each one through a combination of skilled management, long-term planning, and innovative business strategies.
While Apples current strength might give younger readers the impression that its always been a leader in technology, its far from the truth. Just forty-five days from bankruptcy at its worst point, Apples transformation has been a remarkable event. Now the largest technology company in the world by market cap, its a reminder that even the most dire of circumstances can be escaped from.