“A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” – Ovid
The South Korean tech giant today issued a statement announcing the “direct cost” of abandoning its potentially dangerous Galaxy Note7 phone would reach $3.9 billion over the next two quarters, with revenue down more than $2.3 billion over the next three months.
This does not account for the impact on brand economics related to the Note 7 debacle.
Samsung also revealed it would not quickly replace the Note7 phone with a different model, instead focusing on its flagship phones released in March.
“Moving forward, Samsung Electronics plans to normalize its mobile business by expanding sales of flagship models such as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge,” the company said.
“Additionally, the company will focus on enhancing product safety for consumers by making significant changes in its quality assurance processes.”
These headlines are bound to make the Apple Watchers happy and provide a temporary relief. At last check, AAPL was trading close to $117, almost a 3 month high.
There is however greater risk in not having that looming competition breathing down your neck.
It can lead up to a different kind of inertia in the internal processes. These are the times when crazy ideas can grab the bunch of R&D outlays and resources wasted in moonshots.
There are many well-documented examples of companies falling into the complacency trap after finding themselves in this sort of sweet spot.
Look no further than Kodak. The camera and film company was a titan in their industry, holding a huge share of the market. Without much competition and a huge consumer base, Kodak enjoyed massive success until it hit a bump in the road and the rest is history.
Apple, which was known for its design, failed to make dramatic and innovative design introductions for a while. Whether it was AI or augmented reality, Apple missed the mark. It is finally good to see an interesting product like Airpod as well as the technology that led to waterproofing of the Series 2 watch.
For a time there it felt that Apple was always playing the catching up game when it came to innovations in technology primarily in the Smartphone arena.
Lets not forget Samsung’s waterproof mobile devices were a slap on the face and Apple had to race to ip67 standards to meet the growing customer needs of a waterproof/dustproof phone. The same was true when it came to the AMOLED guessing game. Now with Samsung Note 7 out of the picture for a while, I wonder what Apple focusses on when it comes to the next generation of iPhones.
You could still remember flinching seeing those Microsoft Cortana ads every time on TV as they pointed out the lack of Siri on the Mac.
It has been a while that Apple is yet to come up with a new clean fresh line of Macbook Pros or at least put out something that speaks about their vision and road forward for this product line. This has been causing some heartburns for folks that want to upgrade their MacBook Pros.
In my experience, one could call it ‘complacency’ when an organization has become so enamored of its own culture over the years, that it has no control over those cultural norms metastasizing into ordinary, everyday, ineffective performance
And since no one likes to be wakened from such comfortable and familiar failure, only the bright light of observable and measurable, clearly defined, leading indicators can open eyes to the true principles and methods of double digit improvements in bottom lines.
We hope that there is no complacency rather Innovation at Apple and the continued spirit to find even better ways to make technology work better for the human race.
1 Cupertino, We are counting on you!