Dear Apple, Don’t Get Distracted by iPhone Sales. Ask the Right Questions

The growth of Apple has slowed. This was bound to happen. Markets and market shares have limits. Yesterday’s announcement contained all the normal “spins” from Apple Exec’s (Apple’s future is bright) and Wall Street Analysts (Apple’s best days are behind it). But are iPhone sales Apple’s biggest issue?

News — like the kind Apple delivered yesterday — can so dominate the landscape that organizational leaders miss deeper messages hiding in the more apparent ones. With that in mind, the questions Apple leaders ask themselves right now will shape future direction. What Apple Exec’s need to remember is this: the quality of the questions we ask influences the quality of the outcomes we experience.

What questions should Apple ask itself right now? Well, here are a few that have to do with Apple’s strategic positioning in the market.

  • Are we going to continue to position ourselves as “innovators of the ‘next thing?’” If yes, what the heck is the “next thing?”
  • Is it wise to continue to position ourselves as “innovators of the ‘next thing?’” What are the potential implications if we continue this positioning?
  • Are customers captivated or bored?
  • Is it possible for us to captivate customers without the “next thing” strategy? Could we position ourselves differently and succeed?
  • Is it dangerous to continue with a strategy that has a high expectation of new devices (meaning: I’m bored with my watch, what’s next?)? Or, is it essential that we retain the “Jobsonian” approach to new stuff not just cooler versions of the same stuff?
  • If we retain the Jobsonian approach to new stuff, how do we do it without him? How do we make it our own?

So, what questions do you think Apple should be asking?

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