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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:49 PM   #1
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Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson: 'Execution is What Really Matters,' Apple is the Best




Earlier this month, Walter Isaacson, the man who wrote the best-selling biography of Steve Jobs, garnered some attention when he told a CNBC interviewer that the "greatest innovation today" was coming from Google, not Apple.

Yesterday, Isaacson did an interview with Bloomberg TV, where he clarified his original statement and noted that while he believes Google is the more innovative company, with a clearer integrated strategy, Apple is better than Google at bringing products to fruition.

Quote:
I will say one thing about the comment I made about Google being the most innovative. Innovation is great, but it ain't everything. It's not the whole equation. Execution is what really matters. Apple is the best at execution.
During the interview, Isaacson also commented on the iPhone 5c and Apple's ability to make lower cost products, noting that he believes Apple's unwavering focus on quality will not allow it to produce subpar products to compete in the low end device market.
Quote:
I don't think Apple will ever be great at doing low end. It really makes insanely great products to use the phrase Steve used 30 years ago, when he launched the Mac. What I think is going to have to happen is that they're going to have to figure out a whole new set of disruptive products.

You've heard Tim Cook hint about that; whether it's television or a wearable watch, I don't think Apple's going to do well trying to be in the commodity low end race with Samsung and others.
Apple made one of its first attempts into the mid-range market with the 2013 debut of the iPhone 5c, which it sold for $100 less than its flagship iPhone 5s. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently revealed that the launch of the iPhone 5c resulted in some inventory problems for the company, as it had underestimated people's desire for the iPhone 5s.

The company expected a more balanced demand for both phones, which led to iPhone 5s inventory shortages. Due to the lack of demand for the iPhone 5c, it remains unclear if Apple will continue on with both a higher-end and a mid-tier phone for future releases. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggested that while Apple will release two phones in the future, it will abandon plastic casings.

As Isaacson suggested, Apple is rumored to be working on several products that have the potential to be "disruptive." The company is said to be close to the launch of a revamped Apple TV product that will incorporate games, which could severely impact the existing console market, and the much-rumored Apple smart watch is also on the horizon.

Article Link: Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson: 'Execution is What Really Matters,' Apple is the Best
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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Probably correct. I think I agree. But still a backpedaling effort haha
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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Basically, another analyst opinion. I agree with him regarding the low-end.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Apple TV integrating games = yes please, do it now!
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:55 PM   #5
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Hypercritical #42: The Wrong Guy

John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin discuss Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Topics include Isaacson's failings as an author and biographer, the technical cluelessness on display in the book, and Steve Jobs, Enemy of Progress.



This is the book I want to read.

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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:55 PM   #6
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iPhone 5c sales support the fact that people are willing to pay extra for the best value (features, benefits, performance, etc.). I think they've learned that a race to the bottom is the wrong path for them.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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I wish he'd realized that when he was writing Jobs' biography…

The early stuff was all well told (it's hard not to be with such great source material), but it was clear he's not a techie and didn't understand a lot of what made (makes) Apple great since Jobs returned to the company.

Not that it was a terrible book, but it was disappointing.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 03:59 PM   #8
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Walter Isaacson, back peddler.

By the way, writing a book about Einstein doesn't mean that you are smarter than Einstein.
Thus, writing about Steve Job doesn't mean you can be a better CEO.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:10 PM   #9
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I have loads of respect for Isaacson as a writer, historian, and general human being, but his comments here are rather nonsense. While Google and Apple are both tech companies and have products in the same market space, their M.O.s are 180 degrees from each other.

Both are innovating in the way each needs to be according to their respective business model. Apple is (was) better at execution because thats how the hard goods business is, you either hit it or don't. Google OTOH has hundreds of projects in the "lab" and it just waits to see what sticks and what slides off the wall. In the meantime it's churning everyone's data & making boatloads on it.

Now of late I don't think one can honestly say Apple has been great at execution. Tim Cook, 3 times in his short tenure as CEO, as had to make a public mea culpa because slow product ramp or poor demand calculations caused product contstraints resulting in revenue or sales shortfalls. For someone who's known as being brilliant at supply chain management Cook has been a dullard.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
Walter Isaacson, back peddler.

By the way, writing a book about Einstein doesn't mean that you are smarter than Einstein.
Thus, writing about Steve Job doesn't mean you can be a better CEO.
By the way, posting on an Apple forum about Walter Isaacson doesn't mean you can be a better biographer.........
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:13 PM   #11
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I can drink to this. The tech world in general isn't turning out very much innovation at the moment, that's coming from what you could say is a tech splinter, video games. But yeah, Cook is a bean counter, everything Apple has done has been evolutionary, even iOS 7 was really just a new set of graphics. I thought it was hilarious when the iPhone 5S's slogan was "Forward thinking" when all it was was a spec bump and finger print scanner.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:14 PM   #12
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Shut up Walter. Just because you wrote a book on Steve Jobs doesn't make you an expert on the tech industry.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:15 PM   #13
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"Execution is what really matters"

It all matters. Every single thing matters.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedBatman View Post
I can drink to this. The tech world in general isn't turning out very much innovation at the moment, that's coming from what you could say is a tech splinter, video games. But yeah, Cook is a bean counter, everything Apple has done has been evolutionary, even iOS 7 was really just a new set of graphics. I thought it was hilarious when the iPhone 5S's slogan was "Forward thinking" when all it was was a spec bump and finger print scanner.
If you can't think of what 64 bit and Touch ID might mean for the future, then you're not very forward thinking.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Google is the more innovative company, with a clearer integrated strategy, Apple is better than Google at bringing products to fruition.
you got that right Isaacson, with motorola blunder sales to lenovo.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:25 PM   #16
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A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggested that while Apple will release two phones in the future, it will abandon plastic casings.
That's ridiculous! Poor iPhone 5c sales have nothing to do with the plastic casing. It's actually a great design. The problem with the 5c is that it sells for almost the same price as the 5s, yet is a full generation apart in specs and features.

Even if you like the design (I do), it's hard to see the sense in buying it because you're more or less just getting an iPhone 5 in a colourful case, at practically the same price as the 5s.

The 5c either needs to be cheaper, or be closer to the 5s specs. And if the iPhone 6 is just going to be a 5s with a bigger screen, then sadly, Apple really have lost their spark.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:26 PM   #17
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Cheap phone?

Why is the 5c constantly referred to as a cheap phone at $550 off contract vs the "premium" 5s at $650 off contract. Anything over $400 unlocked is not considered cheap to anyone I have talked to. If the push from the carriers is to unsubsidized cell plans I don't get the pricing on the 5c.

An iPad mini retina 16gb cellular is $529 unsubsidized. Why does an iPhone 5c 16gb cost more than this retina iPad?
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:26 PM   #18
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With regards to Google and innovation, I can't help but think of the Princess Bride.

With the exception of how to mine data (and they excel at that, and I am not judging them for it), what have they really innovated on? What forward thinking advancement have they really made? On their own, even?
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
If you can't think of what 64 bit and Touch ID might mean for the future, then you're not very forward thinking.
If I put 64 GB of Ram, dual GPUs with 4GB of VRAM in them each, and a 128GB SSD along with a 3TB 7200 RPM HDD, and dual processors in a computer, and I just use it as a facebook machine, I'm still not taking advantage of it. (IT'S AN EXAMPLE PLEASE DON'T GET YOUR KNICKERS IN A WAD)

So what if the 5S is 64 bit? iOS 7 still doesn't take advantage of it other then being faster. The 5 is fast enough. The 4S is fast enough. The iPad 2, 3, mini, and retina under iOS 7 are fast enough. iOS 7 still works beautifully on all of those devices, that aren't 64 bit. 64 bit is about as much as a selling point as the blast processing from the Sega Genesis.

And Touch ID isn't forward thinking. It saves maaaaybe less then 1 second then sliding to unlock.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by 26theone View Post
Why is the 5c constantly referred to as a cheap phone at $550 off contract vs the "premium" 5s at $650 off contract. Anything over $400 unlocked is not considered cheap to anyone I have talked to. If the push from the carriers is to unsubsidized cell plans I don't get the pricing on the 5c.

An iPad mini retina 16gb cellular is $529 unsubsidized. Why does an iPhone 5c 16gb cost more than this retina iPad?
Because 80% of people get their phones subsidized, instead of unlocked. TMobile really isn't that great of a network (in most places, anyway) anyway.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:34 PM   #20
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If you can't think of what 64 bit and Touch ID might mean for the future, then you're not very forward thinking.
Im surprised so many people in these forums can't understand this.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” -Albert Einstein
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:35 PM   #21
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"Innovation is great, but it ain't everything. It's not the whole equation. Execution is what really matters."

Exactly! And that is why patents should be eliminated. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It is bringing the product to market, creating the product ecosystem, etc that is important. Let's kill off the patent system. It is absurd. It needs to die.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:36 PM   #22
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Now of late I don't think one can honestly say Apple has been great at execution. Tim Cook, 3 times in his short tenure as CEO, as had to make a public mea culpa because slow product ramp or poor demand calculations caused product contstraints resulting in revenue or sales shortfalls. For someone who's known as being brilliant at supply chain management Cook has been a dullard.
Wow.

To read these threads, Apple products are behind (smaller screens, no expandable storage, no configurability), Apple doesn't innovate anymore, and Tim Cook is a dullard in execution, particularly as it rlates to supply chain.

And yet, Apple reported record revenue and profits, record sales for iPhone and iPad.

I wish my employer and its CEO could fail and be as disappointing as Apple and Tim Cook are. It would make me a rich man.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:39 PM   #23
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Im surprised so many people in these forums can't understand this.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” -Albert Einstein
Agreed. How about this? Let's spell some if it out. In a year when all of he selling iPhones and iPads are 64bit, and the majority of continually developed apps take advantage of that fact, android might be releasing a 64bit solution.

Do those who don't get it also not understand the importance of letting your foundation set before building on it?
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by starbird View Post
With regards to Google and innovation, I can't help but think of the Princess Bride.

With the exception of how to mine data (and they excel at that, and I am not judging them for it), what have they really innovated on? What forward thinking advancement have they really made? On their own, even?
Fooling the drones to think
creepy data collection = openness and therefore awesome
Google's anticompetitive behavior such as compatibility as a club = Android is open
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 04:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by starbird View Post
With regards to Google and innovation, I can't help but think of the Princess Bride.

With the exception of how to mine data (and they excel at that, and I am not judging them for it), what have they really innovated on? What forward thinking advancement have they really made? On their own, even?
Voice recognition, wearable computing, self-driving cars, tons of back-end technologies/tools that allow them to scale and return results as fast they do, and efficiency (think of gmail offering 1GB storage when hotmail was offering 10MB) to name a few. There's a lot more if you want to get into smaller details of various products (Android, Chrome, etc).

It's not just about mining data, it's being able to turn that data into something people want. Google Search and Google Maps are great examples. Google does a great job at spidering the web and collecting map data, but they turned that data into products that that were *way* ahead of their competition when they were released. For search, they had the most data and the highest relevancy of results. For maps, well, do you remember what the other mapping sites looked like? The UI for Google Maps was on another level entirely.

Don't fool yourself into selling Google short. They've had/will have flops, but their successes have been huge.
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