Yesterday Steve Jobs and company had a press conference addressing the iPhone 4 antenna issues. Overall it was a pretty good response from them, free cases or full refunds for those with issues. You can see the main video on Apple’s site, but the Q&A had some interesting content. I was watching the live blog from MacWorld, and got this from them. In the course of an answer, Jobs talked about how they approached entering the smartphone market.
“To understand Apple, one of our biggest insights came about 8 years ago. We didn’t want to get into any business where we didn’t own or control the primary technology. Because if someone else owns it, they’re going to beat you in the end. And in the computer business, we thought software was the most important tech. And we made our own OS. Our big insight 8 years ago was that for most areas of consumer electronics, it was going to shift from big displays or optical pickup heads for DVDs being important, or radios in cell phones, to software being the most important component. And we realized, we were pretty good at software. And so the iPod really proved that to ourselves, that we could do that, and we brought that to the phone business.
We really made the whole process of being able to update your software an order of magnitude easier than it was before. So we’ve been able to frictionlessly distribute major updates for the software for the iPhone, continuously, and have been able to fix bugs, improve performance, add new features… all for free. And everyone’s copying Apple now, but we were the first ones to really do that in a practical way.”
Apple didn’t enter the market until they knew they could do it well. And now they dominate that market.
How may times do we just do something because we can, rather than have a strategy and plan?