Startup Lessons from Apple

It’s the time of the year where everyone is talking about Apple new products lineup especially the new iteration of the most talked about gadget of all time: the iPhone.

There are thousands of reviews already so I won’t waste your time with yet another review but if you already read few, you probably noticed that most techbloggers were underwhelmed and expected more “magic” from Apple.

So the sentiment is not euphoric and yet I’m sure that the iPhone X will be a big hit and will sell at record numbers? Why is that? What is that Apple does that keeps a huge fanbase loyal and its competitors at bay even when it seems like Apple lost its mojo a bit.

Apple is gearing for a whole new AR/VR experiences but stopped short from feeding the hype.

I think it boils down to a feat that Apple achieved and any other company should strive to: be independent and control your own destiny. But what does that mean concretly?

Well, Apple controls all its hardware and software making the combo tightly and nicely integrated which is key in providing the best experiences to users even when the rate of innovation is slow or controlled. Very few companies have that kind of command and control of huge markets.

Apple doesn’t depend on any chip maker to manufacture its processors and chips. No one controls innovation for Apple, only Apple does. When they felt that AR/VR technology wasn’t ready yet for the mass market, they didn’t talk much about it. Is that a gift to competitors? Maybe but they — the competitors — all depend on Apple to expand these kind of markets, think of the smartwatch market before and after the Apple watch.

Startups nowadays are encouraged to leverage platforms and not reinvent the wheel. That’s fine but it’s important to keep this in the back of everyone’s mind: control your own destiny and don’t be too dependent on others.