You know, there’s a good reason that Apple is like it is, and it’s largely because of Steve Jobs’ leadership. Take this quote from His Steveness in the wake of today’s Apple press event…
“Is Apple’s goal to overtake the PC in market share?” Jobs said, “Our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends. We want to do that at the lowest prices we can.
“But there’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship. And we just can’t do it. We can’t ship junk,” said Jobs. “There are thresholds we can’t cross because of who we are. And we think that there’s a very significant slice of the [market] that wants that too. You’ll find that our products are not premium priced. You price out our competitors’ products, and add features that actually make them useful, and they’re the same or actually more expensive. We don’t offer stripped-down, lousy products.”
You can hear Steve’s reply to the reporter here…
It made me think… where else do you hear people talking like this? Where do you find companies that care so deeply about design and quality and artistic integrity and user experience? It’s hard to name too many other companies where this mindset – this total devotion to doing it right because it’s the right thing to do – is so much an ingrained part of their culture.
I heard Steve Jobs say in an interview once that when you create products that are built with passion and love for what you do, then that passion becomes evident in the final product. According to Steve, an end user can “feel” that passion from designers who truly care about what they make. You only have to look at the new iMacs that were released today, or the iPhone that was released to great fanfare a few weeks ago, or the millions of iPod owners who simply love their music players, or the legions of evangelical Mac owners, to see that Apple’s approach has great validity to many people.
People who use Apple products, who understand Apple products, who experience Apple products… talk about them differently to those that don’t. You don’t hear people talk about loving their Dells, or their Toshibas, or their Acers… they just use them to “get the job done”, usually in a fairly detached sort of a way. Apple’s culture is different. It’s not just about increasing their market share, or raising their stock price, or cutting the costs of production by 3%… it’s about producing the best quality computing devices in the world in a way that the end users of those products can actually feel and appreciate.
I think that is something of which Steve and his team at Apple can be very proud.