Apple doesn’t break the rules; it doesn’t have any!

What is Apple’s mission statement?

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Seriously.  Not kidding, it is from the Apple website under “Investor Relations”.   If I had written a mission statement like that, even at that project at the end of Year 1 of business studies they would have failed me.    Even the other gem, hidden in the same section isn’t much better:

Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

Yeah right.   That defies all rules of mission statement making.   Pretty sure nobody in the company even knows it.   Apple’s mission statement was probably more like:

We all do whatever is cool and seems to please the Allmighty Steve Jobs.   He always knows best, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense; he will make it work sooner or later.

Forget social responsibility (no charity, iKill workers abroad) it is all about profit maximisation.   And now that Jobs is gone a few shareholders are daring to ask whether they might actually have a share of the monumental cash pile at last.    You can only pretend to be emotionally impaired by those times aeons ago when you were cash strapped and even borrowed from Microsoft.    Apple is one of the richest companies in the world.   More than 100 billion in the bank just sitting there for what?   And they don’t even pretend to have some masterplan!

Forget increasing market share.   They could easily drop prices, increase product range or just buy a few companies and give away something of value like Google does.   Buy Adobe, give away Photoshop or something.   (More or less what they did with the digital video market which they then almost abandoned.)  But no, the ghost of Jobs walks the sleek halls of Apple still.   They still shamelessly do everything they can to maximise profit.   Nothing else.   After all, if everyone has a Mac how could they urge you to “Think Different”?

But that is no mission statement either.   To cater to weird designer type people and make them feel special.   I made that up but it would still be more accurate than what they have now.    So Macs are stuck at much less than 10% market share globally and iPhones not much more than that, 25% globally for the optimists.   Depending on your mood you can do statistical hoopjumping to consider iPads a threat to the global status quo or not.  To force other technology companies to produce cooler gadgets than the geeky stuff they did so far.   That would show some awareness, some commitment to helping the planet in some way.   It would give us an idea where it might be heading and all that stuff we learnt about missions statements.   We all thought it was really necessary for a well functioning company…

Sorry to be the party pooper but this doesn’t make sense.   What is the point of this company again?   And without a magician to tell us that the emperor is not naked, how will it pull off any future tricks?

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