On Tuesday January 24th 1984 the Macintosh 128k was released by Apple who sold 70,000 units in its first 100 days. Alongside the Apple II, these were the first in a small range that was produced by Apple who quickly established a recognisable brand, largely thanks to their simple product line.
However, Apple were quickly being overlooked by the consumer. The likes of Dell and IBM were offering a wider range of products to the market appealing to pretty much every customer with a remote interest in home or business computers. So, Apple did the same – why wouldn’t they? If it works for others it must surely work for them and bring their brand back to the forefront, right? Wrong! It in fact put them on the brink of existence. Steve Jobs had been and gone during this time but it was his welcomed return in 1997 and subsequent appointment of “interim CEO” that made the significant difference. In the space of just 12 months Apple were saved from bankruptcy and once again became profitable. The rest as they say is history.
Jeff Grout, an Independent Business Consultant, recently spoke at our Annual Colleague Event and shared this quote from Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren:
“Every winning formula has a sell by date”
When I joined Bromford in 2003 we had just entered the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies and we were blown away that we made the top 5, (I’m sure we’ll enter this again soon). We know that to achieve this we must keep re-inventing ourselves, creating and innovating the way in which we deliver our services. I must admit I’ve seen many positive changes in my 8½ year tenure so I’m certain we’d make the elusive century club again, especially when I look at our vision for 2016 and see all the exciting projects scheduled for this year; Connect being one of them.
Apple is now one of the most successful companies on the planet. They know when one of their products has past its sell by date and it’s time to offer something new.
So now you must ask yourself: Are you planning to do something brave and new in your organisation? Who is your Steve Jobs? Can you identify a product or service that you offer that needs a fresh way of delivery? If you can positively answer just one of these then I believe you are taking the correct steps to extend your company’s shelf life.