Tag Archives: Apple

BOOK REVIEW: “What is Strategy – and does it matter?” by Richard Whittington (2000)

Key words
Strategy, brief history of strategy, corporate, international trade, IBM, technology, resource-based of the firm, knowledge-based view of the firm, Apple, Walkman, Intel, Andy Grove, leadership, Japan, France, USA, UK

Summary

Richard Whittington, who has published extensively on strategy, offers a fascinating discussion on some of the key issues in strategic management. The book requires some background knowledge of the subject (perhaps not the first book to read then if you are new to this discipline) and then invites you to develop a personal view.

This is quite a useful book then once you have mastered some of the key elements of strategy. The book states clearly that it is designed more for a graduate or advanced undergraduate level.

Some keys facts:
The word ‘seduction’ comes from the Latin word “ducere”, to lead.

Only a quarter of the Japanese companies described ‘good short-term profits’ as their objective

Pascale ( 1982) reports that the Japanese do not even have a phrase for ‘corporate strategy’

When, in 1982, it launched its first personal computers, IBM predicted a market of 300,000 worldwide; a decade later, the installed base was 110 million. (Tate, 1991) Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, France, Great Britain, Higher Education, Management, Strategy, USA

BOOK REVIEW: “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen (2011)

Key concepts: disruptive innovation, leapfrogging, processes, corporate culture, project management

Companies and industries studied: Apple, Nucor, Dell, Toyota, GM, GE, Ford, Compaq, HP, IBM, disk drive industry

Summary
It is said that this was Steve Job’s favourite book and had a lot of influence on the way he ran Apple. It focuses on disruptive technology and shows why a lot of companies miss out on innovation in markets and why leaders are often ‘leapfrogged’ by challengers. Among some of the surprising theories Christensen states that companies should NOT always listen to their customers (Steve Jobs declared this many times over; so did Henry Ford). Also, it may be better for a company to invest in lower margin products rather than high margin ones. 

Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Innovation, Management, Research, Strategy, Technology

BOOK REVIEW: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson (2011)

This is the hottest business book of the moment and Amazon’s best selling book of 2011. 577 pages look fairly daunting but there is a nice mixture of personal detail and professional development which makes it fairly simple to read.  Jobs was adopted which made him feel “Abandoned”, “Chosen” and “Special.” He frequently got into trouble at school and then dropped out of Reed College in his second year. He had regular temper tantrums and big mood swings but also a remarkable gift for improving products and making them simple to use. He spent hours and hours fussing over tiny details including those legendary ‘spontaneous’ presentations.

The book gives a clear picture of a genius who was almost impossible to live with, a modern day Mozart, if you will. It gives an objective account of his ups and downs at Apple and shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of the man. There is an interesting side story of the rivalry between Jobs and Bill Gates including the latter complaining that while he was saving the world from malaria, the world was more interested in new products created by Jobs! It is an excellent read.

Some keys facts:

The name “Apple” was linked to Jobs’ strange diets. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” he explained. “I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer’. Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.” Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Careers, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Strategy, Technology

Sent from my iPad : the legacy of Steve Jobs

One evening, when I was an undergraduate student in the UK, I met a friend in a state of mild shock. He was studying Politics at the time and hoping to soon begin an illustrious career making important decisions for the country. As he had been walking across campus that afternoon, somebody had stopped him to ask where the Computer Science department could be found. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Innovation, Strategy, Technology