Fast Company, the globe’s leading magazine and digital media publication brand, headquartered in the US, with a focus on technology, innovation, business, creativity, design and work life (balance), operates an annual franchise by the name of “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies”, compiled after the assessment and review of thousands of companies, established and evolved. It was in 2018, that Apple made to the top of the list as the world’s most innovative company, but couldn’t retain its position and observed a sharp fall in the 2019 list as the 17th most innovative company. Plunging from 1 to 17 may seem meagre to a lot of people, but Apple’s rank fell at a rate of 94%. The American multinational technological manufacturing company is galactically (yes, metaphorically, but globally, literally) known for launching products that redefine the future of the technology and this 94% is a ‘game changer’.
This year, the company didn’t get rank on the basis of the product launches of their flagship smartphone series — iPhone, or the Macbooks or the iPads and the iPods, but for designing their own silicon — the hexacore A12 Bionic application processor housed on a 64-bit architecture, inside iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, which trounces rival processors (like the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 or the Samsung’s own Exynos 9 Series (9820) inside the flagship Galaxy series smartphone S10) in independent speed benchmark scores and is suitable to handle the functioning of a wide variety of power-intensive applications like studio-quality photography (hint: iPhone XR).
The role of criticism
When Apple topped the 2018 list, the criticism of not hitting the market with the launch of a remarkable product was still prevalent. So one may ask was it the criticism that impacted the 2019 ranking of Apple? The answer is “No”.
Where the problem lies?
“There’s obviously going to be a pressure point at which it’s no longer sustainable, but at this point, it doesn’t look like anybody’s blinking.”
quoted Shelley Moore Capito, a nonpartisan American Senate group member, in The Washington Post’s news article about Trump recalling 46,000 furloughed Federal Government workers to resume their work life without getting paid. Although quoted in the above-said situation, this phrase can be applied to the dilemmatic situation of the tech firm. With Tim Cook thinking that the company is having good years from a revenue POV and that he needs to block the ‘noise’ from the design and product teams at Apple and saying ‘no’ to some of the great ideas, these thoughts might lead to detrimental years ahead.
Is Apple not considering criticism?
One may argue that Apple is not considering criticism just like PayPal used to do in the initial years of setup with almost zero dispute resolution and handling of complaints. But Tim Cook reveals that “it’s always products and people”, and the employees at Apple read the letters customers send to him and distinguish the noise from the change.
It may seem that the tech company is letting small fires burn which externally, people are incapable of seeing that. But on the other hand, those people may sometimes question the ability of the company to handle growth, not the company growth in general, but the customer growth in particular.