August 27, 2013

Apple

Let's think about the timing of product launches, for a moment.
  • 2001 = iPod.
  • 2006 = MacBook.
  • 2006 = Apple TV.
  • 2007 = iPhone.
  • 2008 = iPod Touch.
  • 2010 = iPad.
That's impressive, don't you think?  Six major products in nine year ... every eighteen months on average.

Since Fall 2010?

Now, we all know the reasons why that happened. I'm not going to pick on it - nor should you - if you could do better, go start a technology company and make it happen (and this goes for Microsoft, too, and all the armchair quarterbacking about how garden variety humans could do a better job running that company - go try it sometime and report back on how you performed).

You can see the merchandising challenges, here in late 2013, can't you? Samsung is rolling, and though Apple could bail out eight cities the size of Detroit, investors are anxious - anxious that there haven't truly been breakthrough product introductions for three years.

In other words, the planning for the iPad happened long before 2010 ... the introduction happened in 2010 ... the profit overflowed in 2011 - 2013.

Do you think there's a parallel for your business? 

Do you think that it is possible that the products you are crafting today will be introduced in 2014, and will generate profit in 2015 - 2016?

My Merchandise Forensics projects clearly illustrate the link between strategic planning today, and profit two or three years from now. I can easily show how much profit is being eroded today because of strategic decisions made two or three years ago.

Use Apple as a case study surrounding the importance of new products. There has to be a correlation between what they experience, and what you experience in your business.