23 Nov 2016 – Relief and Disapointment

This afternoon the recent heatwave finally broke and it was sweet relief. We have had a string of very hot and very humid day and it really starts to sap your energy and get you down after a while. So it was amazing this afternoon to walk out of the office into some light drizzle that was nice and cool.

I really love Apple, but they seem to be making nothing but errors lately. There has been the long running debacle that is the Mac lineup, the horrible rollout of the iPhone 7 and AirPods, the ditching of their monitor business, and now, rumours that the wireless router business is also getting the chop.

This is a huge strategic error by Apple. What Apple users loved about the company was that they made wonderful products that focused on niceness. A lot of that niceness comes from the way that Apple products work together, and some of that is going to be lost now that we don’t have Apple monitors or routers.

The routers is especially strange, with the Echo and Google Home really doing quite well, it seems to me that Apple should be staking a place in the market for Siri, in the off chance that this category takes off. Since I can’t get an Siri alternative, I get an Echo, and then, once I am used to Alexa, its that much harder for Apple to claw me back to their ecosystem.

What all this highlights is a huge structural issue at the core of Apple. There are tons of great people at Apple, and more than enough resources to hire as many more teams as they want. But there is a roadblock somewhere in the system (which I think is at the Jony Ive/Tim Cook level) that means stuff just doesn’t get looked at.

There is no excuse for a company the size of Apple to be leaving products, some of which sell really well like the MacBook Pros to languish for years without updates while the industry moves on. Apple needs to make its teams more autonomous and let groups, like the router team, or the Mac Pro team, make regular small updates to their corner of the Apple world without constantly having to seek approval from top management.

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