I do not think we are disagreeing. IBM is no longer one of the tech giants driving the direction of the industry, but the company has scaled back, focused on segments where it can excel, and developed a successful business model. It may not be the tech leaderit once was, but it has survived.
The articles makes many good points. But is missing another important factor.
Initially the technology leaders are focused on technology and operations. Once successful and larger, attention shifts to conforming to the myths promoted by the financial markets. The result is shift away from technology-centric operations. Often the divergence is masked by the size of the operations and financial leverage. But when multiplicity of negative factors arrise, if the organization has conceded technology/market leadership, trouble follows.
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One minor point. Apple is moving out of the ranks of 'Technology' company to the ranks of Consumer Durable, maybe Consumer Asperational. Why does that matter? The customers are morphing from techies to consumers. The average MacBook, iPad, or iPhone users needs a tool, and probably doesn't care about 64bit processors, etc. These customers buy design, functionality, and support/service. They are willing to pay for it. Similar to the higher end watch manufacturers of past generations. The mainstream products try to sell 'technology' and will be caught in the downward spiral of low margin products.
Window hardware in a zero margin business. Apple still maked decent margins in the laptop and desktop market, despite flat to down sales for everyone.
As there are the Leaders who introduce cutting edge technologies in the market, there is a second category of entrepreneurs which are called Powerful Followers. These entrepreneurs do not have original ideas but are very good at capitalizing on already ripe market created by the Leaders. I would say Samsung is like a powerful follower capitalizing on the smart phone market created by Apple.
In my opinion the technology leaders do not linger onto the same product for a long time, they soon switch over to yet another innovative product. If they do not do that then they are sure doomed to fall
Thanks for your article, but I disagree. Success is not always defined by what you read in the newspapers. For example, IBM may not be making headline news, but every time a company makes an IBM compatible PC, IBM makes money and they still sell a large amount of mid-range computer systems. Please visit some of the government offices in Washington, DC.... Like the IRS. Oops! And the company Texas Instruments have the rights to so many patents that I cannot even make a list anymore. My point is simple. These companies may not be headline news today, but they are still making money from other companies because they are using their products or ideas. The bottom line is this, on the end of the day, a good balance sheet is all that matters.
Thank you for comments. I agree with them all. Apple's run actually began with the iPod and has run through the iPhone. How long will it last, no one knows, but there are many factors that have contributed to Apple's success.
I believe that the transition to connected devices or IoT will be another major inflection point in the electronics market and the new generation of technology leaders will be those that can change the computing paradigm once again.
Thanks for detail explanation. But if you closely examine this, it is also applicable to each person, family, country, sports team etc. This is how physical and mental demands work and this is what it should be.