Thursday, January 19, 2012
When you have a "fanboy" following, you can afford to be a cult like Apple with its intense secrecy. Apple disproves the idea of transparency and flies in the face of management theory. It also contradicts assumptions held dearly by communicators. All this can be summarized into a sentence: There are many ways to do succeed. Apple's approach might not work for other high-tech companies such as Dell or Hewlett-Packard or IBM or Oracle. But, it worked for its founder, Steve Jobs, and it appears that it will continue with this management style. As long as Apple can continue to turn out amazing products that keep its base wanting more, there is no need to change. The day that its secrecy will prove a burden is when the magic goes away and its devices and services are not much different than competitors. In other words, Apple has set an extraordinarily high standard in order to succeed. It has had a great run in the last 10 years. There is no guarantee that it will continue that run for the next 10. If it doesn't, it will be interesting to observe whether its culture helps or burdens the company.