Fast Company online presents an infodense infographic on Apple’s Macintosh product evolution and its fit to long-term business strategy.
“And then Steve Jobs came back. Sure, he refocused the company on designing great products. But he also pulled off the corporate strategy that he succinctly described as “stopping all the crap.” As a B-school professor might say, he streamlined the product offering. And he did so not in a span of years, but months. Look how radically simple the product pipeline gets after 1996 …”
The growth of products supports the theory of the organizational values shift occurring over growth as a business strategy shifts from Explore to Expand to Exploit. Apple grew in size (if not relative market share) to satisfy what it believed the market wanted.
At the time Jobs returned, Apple had tipped over into a lagging strategy – exploit was about all they could do, its original innovation values had been supplanted.
So was this primarily a business strategy or product strategy? Was there any way Jobs (or anyone) could have foreseen the iPhone in 1997?