Don’t Be Apple. Sometimes Be Apple.

The following is an email to my team I sent following Apple’s MacPro announcement.

Yesterday, Apple announced that the current Mac Pro desktop will be getting a spec bump (after over 3 years!) and that they are going back to the drawing board on the design of the beautiful machine. It was quite apparent that when they debuted the Mac Pro they were VERY proud of it. Phil Schiller famously emoted “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass!” during the unveiling.

But, they screwed up — they doubled down on technology that never came to fruition and a design that was not very modular. They are now eating humble pie at the expense of their pro customers who feel like they were left out in the cold.

Here is an exchange about how they realized the decisions they made were not great. (emphasis mine)

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I also ask what the moment was like, the turning point at which they knew that the current Mac Pro’s design wasn’t the way forward.

“I wish I could give you the kind of answer you want with that, which is, ‘oh, there was a day and a meeting and we all got together and said X,’” says Schiller, “but it rarely works that way.”

“We all went on our own emotional journeys, I’d say,” laughs Federighi. “There were periods of denial and acceptance. We all went on that arc.”

— -

Sometimes you design something that you believe will be great and it doesn’t turn out to be. Sometimes it takes time for that to manifest. Sometimes you have to “kill your darling.”

Being able to destroy or let go of the beautiful thing you have designed is the mark of a great designer and a great company.

Being able to destroy or let go of the beautiful thing you have designed is the mark of a great designer and a great company. The problem is it took Apple an extraordinarily long time to admit it. And their most rabid fans suffered.

There is no doubt we too will make mistakes… It is the price of being innovative and leading change… but we should all be ready to quickly admit them and come with solutions.

Don’t be the Apple that let a mistake fester. Be the Apple that was transparent and is coming with a solution.



Can’t wait for the new monitor.

Here is a Link to the interview:

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