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Do human emotions equate well with business events?

October 3, 2007

There is a post over on IT Management about Apple and their arrogance. Maybe Mike Elgan has a point. He speaks of Microsoft being humiliated by Apple. I really can’t see the tears here. And do companies the size of Apple and Microsoft exist with some of the feelings he describes? These are both billion dollar businesses. They have brands. They make money. They do not cry.

Remember in the mid 90’s — it was Microsoft that was ‘arrogant’ and Apple the weak and supposedly dying platform. It only lasted awhile before innovation and hard work changed this. Businesses either work to exist or move on to where ever they move on to. Let’s not get too excited here. I can’t see much blood on the floor. And whatever pain Microsoft is suffering because of this ‘bully’ Apple it is a long way from Microsoft’s heart (and pocketbook).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2007 10:59 pm

    I have always been an advocate of Apple – if you attacked the “Macintosh Way”, you might as well be attacking motherhood and apple pie (or long grain rice, for that matter). But, I also had parents who taught me the lesson that with great power comes great responsibility (Grasshopper has learned well). Apple has worked hard to “grow up” and should be recognized accordingly. But they should proceed with caution. Burping is cute and acceptable from baby, but not quite as acceptable from a teenager without an “Excuse me.”

    To answer your question about equating emotions to companies of this size, I believe it is a matter of perception. Though Bill Gates has switched his focus to philanthropy, in terms of optics, he is still as much the figurehead of Microsoft as Steve Jobs is of Apple. One cannot help but think that the Mac vs PC commercials parody the battle between Steve & Bill. In reality, I don’t think either loses much sleep over this. In fact, aren’t they in bed with one another? I hope they don’t make a commercial about that.

  2. October 8, 2007 5:39 pm

    I think the central issue is identity / identification. Call it the brand, the image, the culture, or even the stock price. Caleb who comments above is obviously a customer who identifies himself with/as the Apple company. If that’s how strongly a customer feels, how do employees feel about the Apple brand, culture, etc.?

    Sure companies don’t cry. But they can be humiliated, etc. if there exists a group of people who embody (I forget the proper word) the company.

    The best comment I’ve seen on the Jobs vs. Gates rivalry was by the pseudonymous IT pundit Cringely. He was convinced that because Jobs and Gates have different value sets both of them think that they “have won” the rivalry.

    Gates looks at the 95% market share and the billions of dollars added to the bank account every year and sees that he has won. Jobs looks at the “cool factor” (reporters calling him an innovator, the iPod success, the Cult of Mac, how he lives in Silicon Valley while Gates lives in Washington, how he has a bigger private jet than Gates, etc.) and sees that he has won.

  3. October 10, 2007 3:58 pm

    Sadly, this makes me think about the plight of credit unions vs banks.

    For so long, Credit Unions forced innovation on banks. Now it seems like credit unions need permission by banks to do anything clever.

    Speaking of, Bank of America now has “Mint-Like” and “Wesabe-Like” services for their online banking. Another nail in the coffin for credit unions that don’t pull their heads out of their collective butts.

    Like Apple, credit unions can turn this thing around. But don’t fool yourself. Microsoft is regrouping. They didn’t get on top by luck. If apple slacks off even a tiny bit – the Gates Machine will be all over them. You have to innovate – and stay innovative.

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