»You can literally put every product we make on this table«
Thoughts on Apple Car, Part 40
There is a historic image of the pre-iPhone Apple product crew at their workplace: A big wooden table that can be filled with ideas.
From this group, only Jony Ive and Phil Schiller are still around. They are the one shaping product strategy at the moment.
And they still operate with the focus that Steve Jobs set out as the winning path: Have a product line so small that you can put it on a table in its entirety. (and one that you can discuss in the legendary Monday executive meetings in its entirety)
What if the table is too small?
The approach made sense for a consumer electronics company, whose largest product in terms of footprint is a 27" iMac.
But today, Apple’s R&D efforts are centered around the design of an autonomous car.
Too big for the „table“ mental model that has guided the company for so long. Too big for the idea of putting every product besides each other.
In fact, a car would host all Apple products in itself.
So what about the table?
I still think a table will play a role in future Apple product development – especially the car.
If you think about Apple Car as being a smart room on smart wheels, such a room would need a table.
Apple Car will be the defining product mental model for Apple in the future. It will literally encapsulate all other product lines and integrate them into one coherent experience.