How Apple Decides What Products To Make

Tim Cook

[credit provider=”Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images”]

Since 2001, Apple has been on a hot streak that will probably never been seen again.

The iPod, the iPhone, MacBook Air, and the iPad are industry defining products that changed the world, and made billions of dollars for Apple.

The seeming ease with which they flowed out of Apple in the last 10 years made the public, and investors, spoiled.

Instead of appreciating the fact that just four years ago Apple reinvented computing with the iPad, the question on everyone’s mind is, “What’s next?”

Apple, of course, doesn’t have a public answer for that question.

However, Cook gave some insight into how Apple makes decisions about what to make in his interview with BusinessWeek:

…we argue and debate like crazy about what we’re going to do, because we know that we can only do a few things great. That means not doing a bunch of things that would be really good and really fun.

That’s a part of our base principle, that we will only do a few things. And we’ll only do things where we can make a significant contribution. I don’t mean financially. I mean some significant contribution to the society at large. You know, we want to really enrich people’s lives at the end of the day, not just make money. Making money might be a byproduct, but it’s not our North Star.

There’s a lot of speculation Apple will make a TV. Tim Cook just told NBC news that television is, “an area of intense interest.”

Does manufacturing a television make a “significant contribution to the society at large”? We think so.

People spend almost three hours a day watching TV. It’s a big part of their lives. If Apple can make that experience better, than it’s going to be a “significant contribution to the society at large.”

We’re not sure what Apple will work on next, but this is an interesting starting point to think about what Apple could do.

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