e-letter Friday: Dear Steve Or Whoever's In Charge At Apple
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Congrats on Apple's fiscal first quarter: $1.6 billion revenue, unit sales of 635,000, generating net profit of $47 million. Ironic that the profit came after you jumped back in the hot seat after that other guy couldn't seem to make it happen, you know the one, the "turnaround" expert who left with a ton of cash.
We see you haven't listed the CEO position on the job listing at Apple.com. Although these words were found: "Right now we're looking for some really good peoplecreative, talented, passionate people. Engineers. Programmers. Manufacturing, marketing and financial professionals. People who think outside the box."
Outside the box, which one? Intel or Apple's? The game is software not hardware. That's why Microsoft is valued more than IBM. It's what's inside the box that's worth more than units of plastic, silicon and soldering.
Consider that the global hum of information has needs to be presented in a way that's easy to use, fun, friendly, enlightening, insanely insane. Microsoft isn't likely to do it as its browser becomes generic. Netscape could do it since it still has the fervor of youth on its side. But why can't Apple do it?
Cyberdog was just that. Quicktime is a blip on the media radar but not a sounding horn, and Web Objects is getting hotter. But with all the software gurus Apple has (extremely great brainwidth), if you could come up with a browser to end all browsers as good as Apple comes up with ad campaigns then you could 'own' the GUI of the future.
Oh, but Bill and Marc already have that game down. Yes, but CompuServe and Prodigy were once leaders in online services and now they're not. AOL (NYSE:AOL) came late to the online party and crushed them. It even beat Microsoft (so far).
A lot of talented folks believe Java could be some sort of manna from Sun and overtake the Web as the leading software system for this networked era. Maybe. Maybe not.
Why is the race being given away to those that may not have the enthusiasm and experience that an Apple has? You're cranking out boxes while the world wants a world without boxes. The future network operating system is up for grabs and we suspect it may require a lot more creativity than many believe to get it done--a hybrid Java meets MTV meets Yahoo! meets Blade Runner. The kind of thinking that led Apple to being a success in the first place.
The kind of "outside the box" thinking that you encourage on Apple.com's job listing board.