Google vs. Apple
Jobs is the main resource of Apple and the reason, why the company will be more successful in the future than Google
Hausarbeit 2012 19 Seiten
Table of Contents
2 Steve Jobs role for Apple
2.2 Apple’s success factors
2.3 Steve Jobs management style
2.4. Relevance of Steve Jobs in comparison to Eric Schmidt
He is creative, innovative and brilliant: what would Apple be without Steve Jobs? And how did a small computer builder create such a successful company and revolutionise the whole computer, mobile phone, music and film industry?
Steve Jobs is Apple and Apple is Steve Jobs. – What makes him unique and indispensable to the company? The question arises as to whether Apple can exist and be successful without its CEO – Is Apple merely an exceptional case or is it a given that a CEO is a company’s main resource?
This assignment entitled "Google vs. Apple - Jobs is the main resource of Apple and the reason why the company wants to be more successful in the future than Google" focuses on the company Apple and the importance of its CEO Steve Jobs. To answer the questions above, this assignment compares Steve Jobs to another CEO, Eric Schmidt, and in doing so highlights why Steve Jobs is ranked No.1 among the 25 most powerful business managers in the world by Fortune magazine, ahead of successful managers like Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt. ( Spiegel Online a, 2007)
To answer the questions and present the thesis, this assignment is structured into 3 chapters: the second chapter describes the history of Apple, with a special presentation about Steve Jobs and his Apple activities. In 2.2 I present some of Apples main success factors. Apple’s successful history is all down to Steve Jobs. Linked to that, 2.3 focuses in detail on the main success factors of Apple by describing Steve Jobs and his management style. 2.4 then compares the importance of Steve Jobs as the CEO of Apple to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. The conclusion sums up the topic and demonstrates why
Steve Jobs is the main resource of the company and the reason for Apple’s success in the past. It will also show why he is the reason that Apple wants to be more successful in the future than its competitor Google. So the conclusion points out why Google’s CEO is less important than Apple’s, and as a result I want to generalise whether a CEO is indispensable to a company or not.
2 Steve Jobs role for Apple
Apple was founded on 1st April in 1967 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Woinak. (Young; Simon 2009, p. 46) The sale of a Volkswagen bus and a calculator was the initial capital for the invention of their first computer, the Apple I series (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 50f). After presenting the Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club, they earned $150,000. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 53) Their first microcomputer, the Apple 2, was the company’s first success and was nominated by Time Magazine as “Machine of the year” and put Steve Jobs’ face on their front cover (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 120). The first initial breakthrough was in January 1984 with the introduction of the Macintosh, which had revolutionary concepts and was designed not only for experts, but also for everyday people (Stanfort, 2011; Dernbach a, 2011). “Der historische “1984″-Werbespot, der am 22. Januar 1984 während des Super Bowl XVIII knapp 100 Millionen TV-Zuschauern in den USA gezeigt wurde, kostete schätzungsweise zwei Millionen Dollar (...).“ (Dernbach b, 2011) The Mac itself was not shown, but the advertising conveyed the clear message that Apple wanted to send to his competitor IBM, with its standard computers. (Dernbach b, 2011) As a result, 80 percent of Americans knew the Apple brand and it stood out from its biggest competitor IBM. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 111) Despite the revolutionary concept of the Macintosh, it had no success in the mass market because it was too expensive for the prevailing conditions. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 146f) The income for the Macintosh covered only ten percent of its planning. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 146) Due to Mac development problems, production was terminated. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 146) Despite the declining sales and the termination of production, Steve Jobs believed in the Mac. There were conflicts between Steve Jobs and the CEO, John Scully, whom he had lured away from Pepsi two years before. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 151 ff) The consequence was that John Sculley fired Steve Jobs as too many employees had complained about his behaviour, which resulted from the conflicts with John Scully and his risky investments in the Mac. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 151 ff; Laufer, 2009)
Steve Jobs, a 30-year-old man with $150 million in his pocket, went to Edwin Catmull where he founded the company Next Computer Inc. and gained a lot of experience in hard and especially software. (Laufer, 2009; Young; Simon, 2009, p. 170ff) During his work at Next Computer Inc., Steve Jobs discovered the use and the importance of the Internet, which was beneficial for his future ideas. (Laufer, 2009) He also bought Pixar and sold it to Disney, where it achieved great profitability and publicity. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 210f)
With Steve Jobs gone, Apple suffered from lower sales and trying to fight against its major competitors, Microsoft, which brought Windows 95 to market. (Microsoft, 2011) Apple’s CEO Gil Amelio bought Next and took over not only the company's software but also the founder Steve Jobs, who was to advise the company. (Laufer, 2009) In 2000, Amelio was fired and Steve Jobs returned as CEO and saved the company within a few months. (Laufer, 2009) Steve Jobs came back to a company that had lost revenue of one billion dollars (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 299). “Sein erster Vorschlag lautete, neue Preise für Aktienoptionen festzusetzen, um die Moral des Personals zu heben. Anschließend schlug er vor, für sämtliche Mitarbeiter einen auf Aktien basierenden Bonus einzuführen, sodass die gesamte Mannschaft an einem Strang ziehen würde.“ (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 303) After that he created Apple’s new slogan, "Think different". (Bry, 2011) Jobs gots Bill Gates on his side and they made a commitment whereby Apple would use Microsoft’s standard browser for the Macintosh and Bill Gates would spend $150 million for the privilege. (Young; Simon, 2009, p. 303ff; rz online, 1997)
From then on, the company expanded into the music market and provided revolutionary products like the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone or the iPad and is liquid again. (Laufer, 2009) “Die Zahlen belegen eindrucksvoll: Apple ist unumstrittener Marktführer im Bereich der digitalen Musikindustrie.“ (Strang, 2006)
In 2004, Steve Jobs contracted cancer and took time out to recover from his illness. (Spiegel Online b, 2011) A few minutes after news of this broke, Apple stock fell by up to 8%. The loss of Steve Jobs and more than $20 billion dollars shook the company. (Spiegel Online c, 2011; Spiegel Online d, 2011) The fans, stakeholders and the whole company feared losing Steve Jobs, but he wrote an email to his employees and said: “Ich liebe Apple so sehr und hoffe so schnell wie ich kann zurückzukommen (…)." (Spiegel Online e, 2011) He went back to the company after recovering from his illness. (Laufer, 2009)
2.2 Apple’s success factors
Apple is one of the most successful brands in the world with a brand value of $153.3 billion. (n-tv, 2011) Everybody knows the Apple symbol and remembers its colourful products. It is the extraordinary, colourful, sleek and distinctive design that makes Apple products famous and unique. (Knobel, 2009) Another success factor is their less is more approach, so Apple products are minimised to their main functions. (Riedl, 2009) Apple also won through with its argument that the consumer is the centre of attention and the products are simplified for use by everyday people and to make their lives easier. (Grazia; Lemm, 2009) Apple products also play a social role for consumers because they are status symbols (Grzanna, 2011) Furthermore the slogan “Choose a mac” and customize it your way supports the idea of identifying with the products and achieving a social affiliation and recognition (Apple, 2011)
To this end, “Qualität ist wichtiger als Quantität und ist obendrein finanziell die bessere Entscheidung. Ein Home Run ist viel besser als zwei Doppel.” (Handelsblatt a, 2011)
 “The historic 1984 commercial shown on 22 January 1984 during Super Bowl XVIII attracted nearly 100 million television viewers when shown in the USA and cost an estimated $2 million ( ... ).”
 “His first suggestion was to set new prices for shares in order to raise the morale of the staff. He then suggested that to introduce a share-based bonus system for all staff so that the entire team would pull together.”
 “The figures clearly demonstrate: Apple is the undisputed market leader in the digital music industry.”
 “I love Apple so much and I hope to come back as soon as I can."
 Quality is more important than quantity, and is also the better financial decision. A home run is much better than two doubles."