Sunny? Or, cloudy? What is Apple’s future? I ask because nobody really knows what the future will bring; corporate or personal. Yet, major companies work diligently to shape their own future rather than wait for events to change their course.
A few good examples of pragmatic futuristic thinking come from Amazon and Facebook and they are sufficiently prescient that we can attach them to Apple’s future.
Explain this; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to employees:
Amazon will go bankrupt.
Context is important and Bezos was not talking about tomorrow or anytime soon but recognized that somewhere down the road Amazon would be topped by, well, something better.
Remember Blockbuster video stores? Former CEO Jim Keyes:
Neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition.
How did the future work out for Blockbuster?
Apple’s recent history has a few choice quotes from smartphone makers when iPhone was launched in 2007. That landscape changed, too, and most of those major smartphone players are relics, crippled, or faint images in the rearview mirror of technology.
Privacy seems to be a trendy meme these days, what with Apple CEO Tim
Apple Cook pointing fingers at Facebook and Google. That might explain why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg just adopted privacy for his social network.
Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms.
Most Facebook and Instagram users think what they do online is private already. It. Is. Not.
Zuckerberg’s newfound love of privacy is pragmatism in action, and not a long term plan begun a decade ago. Users cry for more privacy. Facebook responds with more, uh, well, security via encryption, but since the company is an advertising agency, actual privacy is in name only.
Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
Uh huh. Sure.
Privacy is not why people use Facebook et al, and privacy is not why Facebook exists. What makes Facebook tick and Zuckerberg turn on a dime?
What’s coming in Facebook’s future? The same as Apple’s future. The unknown, and unless a few guesses are damned lucky, the future plainly is unknowable.
Today, Apple is a hardware company, but also develops and publishes software which is used to 1) make a clear differentiator of Apple’s products vs. competitors, and, 2) make money, and, 3) see #2. Apple continues to evolve, and that means new revenue streams from new products and services. HomePod, Watch, AirPods, Apple Music, all are multi-billion dollar businesses, but just as many smartphone companies did a decade ago, and where Amazon’s Bezos says his company may go, Apple’s future remains where most futures remain.
In the future.