Apple has, for at least the past decade or so, been considered the ‘cool’ tech company. Every item from the company has an amazing amount of social cache attached to it, and every new product has been something close to revolutionary.
It’s strange, then, that something has started to suddenly fade from the company. Instead of being revolutionary, everything seems a little bit on the safe side now. According to some insiders, that’s due to the influence of Apple CEO, Tim Cook.
Tim Cook Changed Apple’s Culture
According to at least one former employee, Apple’s internal culture has moved from the “Wild West” to more of a “boring operations company“. Some attribute much of the flair and verve of the company’s earliest products to the former atmosphere, so the change marks a huge departure from a giant that remains at the top of the tech mountain.
The move towards a more stable culture is, perhaps, not that surprising. Apple under the late Steve Jobs had the onerous task not only of rebuilding from near-bankruptcy, but also of creating new markets. The Apple of today isn’t the striving company of the late 90s and it is certainly not even the upwardly mobile giant of the last decade.
Instead, it’s a leader in the world of technology and, to some, the final word in what is hip in smartphones. It should come as no surprise, then, that Cook’s reign would largely be about consolidating what currently exists and making it better.
While it is difficult to determine what of this can be laid at Cook’s feet in particular, there are many who would say that Cook is a very different kind of boss than Jobs. The latter, for all the posthumous sainthood bestowed upon him in recent years, was always a controversial figure and was often depicted as rude or even egomaniacal.
Cook, on the other hand, has always been depicted as quieter and more calculated. The change in the management styles would naturally lead to a change in how the company works. Where that leads Apple, though, is to be determined.
What That Change Means
While Apple is still a comfortable leader in the tech space, that doesn’t mean that the company is not experiencing some changes. For the first time in over a decade, the earnings of the company have declined. Many have attributed this to a lack of truly new products on the market, to say nothing of the lukewarm reception of Apple’s Watch.
Boring organization works incredibly well for some companies, of course. There’s nothing wrong with stability, and Apple’s lack of major success has the flip side of a lack of major failures. While even sales of the Watch have been below expectations, they still haven not been enough to classify the device as a real failure.
Cook seems to be steering a very tight ship and there are, thankfully, no rumblings that anything from his regime will cause the company to capsize again. There is, after all, a trade-off that comes with security.
The question remains: where will Cook’s leadership lead when it comes to Apple. Under Cook, the company has been both its most profitable and had its worst overall quarter in a decade.
There will always be a question as to whether the kind of wild creativity that brought the world the iPad and the iPhone can exist in a company that’s a bit more staid. While the rumblings from inside Apple may continue, only the future will tell whether Cook’s leadership style will be a net positive or negative for shareholders of the company.
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