Apple outlines four key growth drivers

22 November 2011

CUPERTINO: Apple, the consumer electronics giant, is focusing on four key growth drivers - including simplicity, differentiation and taking "courageous" decisions - to build on its range of hit products.

Speaking at a recent event, Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president, worldwide iPod, iPhone and iOS product marketing, firstly argued its emphasis on a small number of successful lines was vital.

"It means saying no, not saying yes," he said. "We do very few things at Apple. We are $100bn in revenue with very few products. There are only so many 'grade A' players. If you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great."

While Apple's iPod was not the first such device on the market, the MP3 player's design strengths and intuitive user interface enabled the company to rapidly forge ahead in the category.

These lessons have been applied to pioneering gadgets like the iPhone mobile handset and iPad tablet, and Joswiak posited that making complicated technology easy to use serves as a key way to achieve stand-out, and was a second core principle.

He said: "Make complex things simple. A lot of people think it means take something simple and leave it at its core essence. But it isn't that. When you start to build something, it quickly becomes really complex."

"But that is when a lot of people stop. If you really know your product and the problems, then you can take something that is complex and then make it simple."

Thirdly, and in keeping with this notion, Apple – which boasts a range of offerings encompassing iTunes in the music sector to a web-connected TV set-top box – aims to carefully target the industries it participates in.

"If you can't enter the market and try and be the best in it, don't enter it. You need that differentiation. At Apple if we can't be the best then we are not interested in it," said Joswiak.

Joswiak fourthly suggested that a forward-thinking approach was essential to delivering long term, sustainable growth.

As an example, the Siri software featured on Apple's latest iPhone acts as a voice-activated "intelligent assistant" letting customers fulfil tasks from entering items in their calendar to finding a restaurant.

"Courage drives a lot of decisions in business. Don't hang on to ideas from the past even if they have been successful for you. You don't build a product just because everyone else has one," said Joswiak.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff