Blog Archives

Tim Cook to Employees: “Apple Is Not Going to Change”

Less than 24 hours after the jarring revelation that Apple’s revered leader, Steve Jobs, would be stepping down from his post as CEO, his replacement has set the stage for the beloved company’s continued growth and success.

Tim Cook, who previously served as Apple’s COO and as interim CEO during Jobs’ previous medical leaves of absence, sent a note to all Apple employees today promising them the company they knew under Steve Jobs won’t change under his leadership.

The note, originally obtained by Ars Technica, reaffirms Jobs’ commitment in his resignation letter that Apple will continue to be a successful and innovative leader in the always-competitive tech sector:

——

Team:

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.

Tim

——

Cook is no stranger to the tech community, often appearing alongside Steve Jobs at Apple events and giving important keynote speeches in Jobs’ absence. Cook has been a part of the Apple team since 1998, joining as Senior Vice President of Global Operations, and rising to his previously-held position of Chief Operating Officer in 2005.

Tim Cook at Apple - CHART

Cook’s execution of supplier contract negotiations has made it virtually impossible for competing firms to deliver comparable products at a competitive price. Cook previously held executive positions at Compaq and IBM.

With Jobs remaining as Chairman, and a suite of Jobs-era products in the pipeline, Apple likely won’t even see a hiccup for the next few years. Jobs created a system of excellence and creativity and instilled these values in every Apple employee, and Tim Cook will continue to execute Apple’s mission of innovation and growth. Investors and insiders are confident in Cook’s ability to lead – Apple stock is down just 1 percent through midday trading Thursday.

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Google Launches Google+ iPhone App, Expands Critical Mobile Presence

After weeks of speculation, Google has received approval from Apple to release the Google+ iPhone app. However, the highly anticipated launch did not go off without a hitch. The first release of the Google+ iPhone app was buggy and highly unstable, frequently crashing and logging out users at random. Google quickly identified and rectified the issue, releasing an updated version of the app an astonishing 1 hour and 40 minutes after the initial launch.

Lead Project Manager for Google+ Mobile, Punit Soni, revealed early this morning (on Google+, of course) that the App Store was serving early downloaders a test version of the Google+ iPhone app.

(Some users report the Google+ iPhone app is not showing up in searches within the App Store. Here is the download link for the app, accessible through your iOS device.)

The app allows users to access their Stream, comment on and +1 other user’s posts, but the current version of the app does not allow users to re-share posts in their Stream. Soni, in response to Robert Scoble’s post reviewing the app, announced an in-stream Share feature is in the works. The app provides access to Photos from your Circles, your personal albums and all photos stored on your iPhone, and allows you to upload and geotag photos to Google+. Check out the full Google+ for iPhone review from Mashable, which includes 20 in-app pictures.

Google+ iPhone App - Screenshot

One of the key features driving the Google+ iPhone app’s utility over the browser-based version is the mobile-optimized Huddle feature. The success of Google+ will be largely driven by its seamless integration between mobile and desktop, and the two-way or group chat Huddle feature enables Google+ to become a central hub of mobile activity, replacing text messaging and additional group chat applications if the app gains widespread traction.

The brief and uncharacteristic early hiccup was positively overshadowed by Google’s quick update, and the Google+ iPhone app paves the way for Google+ to further penetrate the mobile environment, a critical battleground in the heavyweight bout between Google+ and Facebook. If Google+ can continue the growth trajectory it has enjoyed during its invitation-only trial phase, and perhaps beat Facebook to the punch with a standout iPad app, the social networking landscape that seemed set in stone just months ago will be poised for significant transformation. This competition between two immeasurably smart and talent-rich companies will only lead to stronger products and a better user experience, and that is something we can all look forward to.

Still searching for an invite to Google+? Click HERE for an invite, courtesy of @LetsChatBiz.

As Bing Sees Big Gains, Is Microsoft Cool Again?

Under the tutelage of Bill Gates, Microsoft exploded into one of the world’s largest and most valuable companies, generating billions of dollars in profits annually for shareholders. The dot-com boom made many employees and investors millionaires, and the company appeared unstoppable.

As the company matured, growth stabilized and new tech darlings like Google stole the spotlight. Delayed product launches of centerpiece operating systems, failed products and advertising campaigns, broken acquisition deals and an apparent lack of internal innovation gave Microsoft a reputation as a “has been” that had passed its prime, and current CEO Steve Ballmer lost the confidence of many investors.

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad

However, new data is showing that Microsoft may be experiencing a reversal of fortunes, as the company’s investments in search are beginning to pay off. The brutally competitive search engine market has had one dominant player for the last decade – Google – which has held as much as 80 percent of the United States search market.

In October 2010, the U.S. search marketshare breakdown was as follows: Google (72.15%); Yahoo + Bing (23.64%). The most recent Hitwise data shows Bing has made substantial gains at the expense of Google and Yahoo. Bing-powered search now controls 30.01% of the U.S. search market, while Google’s share has fallen to 64.42%. (See below: Image courtesy of Mashable.)

Bing vs. Google

These gains may be the result of a major multi-platform ad push by Microsoft for Bing, but the trend is a positive sign for investors and spectators that have remained loyal to the company.

Strong performance in search, high expectations for tablet and PC versions of the upcoming Windows 8 platform, new developer confidence in the Windows Phone platform following the recent Nokia partnership announcement, the smashing success of Kinect and Xbox 360 and widespread adoption of Microsoft’s iPhone and iPad apps are powerful indicators of a possible Microsoft mindshare and marketshare resurgence.

Bing iPad App

Less than a decade after Wall Street and Silicon Valley critics alike pronounced the death of Apple as a legitimate player in the lucrative personal computer market, the world has witnessed the resurgence of the Cupertino-based company as the dominant force in the rapidly-growing world of consumer electronics. Could we be seeing the beginning of an Apple-esque Microsoft turnaround? Critics will call it wishful thinking, but with Google in the process of a massive leadership change, Yahoo! undergoing a drawn-out transition phase and the tenure of Apple CEO Steve Jobs uncertain, the competitive landscape is changing and Microsoft has substantial opportunities in search, PCs and mobile.

Three Easy Ways to Promote Your Brand For Free – Pt. 1

The massive amount of buzz surrounding the release of Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad, has spread like wildfire through nearly every magazine, news program, blog, and social networking site. It’s no secret that Apple has mastered the art of product promotion, brand recognition, and advertising effectiveness. Not every company, however, has the scope, resources, or skills that Apple does to generate this seemingly ubiquitous buzz about their products and services. For most businesses, especially in these economic times, it is simply a lack of adequate capital to fund a high-quality, wide-reaching marketing campaign. Alas, not all is lost!

If you take advantage of a few highly effective and readily accessible resources, you can begin to catapult your brand and your business to the next level of development and success. Over the next few days, I’ll discuss three quick, free, and most importantly, effective methods to spread your message and grow your brand awareness.

Part 1) Hop on the social networking bandwagon:

If you haven’t yet created accounts for your business on the web’s most popular social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you are missing out on a uniquely effect powerful tool to extend your company’s reach. These sites provide free access to literally hundreds of millions of potential customers. Beyond the advertising platform the site offers, Facebook allows you to create a dedicated page for your company. Your business can directly communicate with past, current, and future customers – responding to feedback, gauging changes in attitudes and desires, and informing them of new products, discounts, and events. Create interactive platforms for users to participate in, fostering personal identification with your brand.

Twitter has become the media darling in the past two years, and you would be hard-pressed to find a celebrity, friend, family member, or colleague that doesn’t tweet (or perhaps for the less-experienced ones, “twit”) the everyday thoughts and experiences in their lives. Businesses are starting to dive into the primitive science of Twitter Marketing as a fun, fresh, and easy way to communicate their brand to their customers in 140 characters or less. Offering exclusive discounts to Twitter users not only can increase your sales, but it can foster a sense of belonging and inclusion that is vital to building brand loyalty with your customers.

Among the many benefits of Twitter is the availability of the Trending Topics tool. This week, Twitter unveiled the Local Trending Topics feature, enabling users to dial in to the hot topics in their city. Not only does this offer your business the opportunity to capitalize upon current trends to better target your products and services, it allows you access to instant market research in areas you may be looking to expand to. Remember, the more knowledge and data that you have access to, the better you can calculate your company’s strategic vision.

While it may be tempting to discount social networking as a marketing tool because of its seemingly informal atmosphere, it is important to recognize that if properly utilized, these entirely free sites offer the opportunity to spread your brand’s image, grow your customer base, and increase sales of your products and services. Sites that can be updated on-the-go like Facebook and Twitter can provide your business with increased visibility, raw data, customer interaction, and platforms for promotion – all for free! Utilize them properly and you can expand your business, big or small, faster and more efficiently than you ever thought possible.