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Why Apple Passing Microsoft is Important to YOU

What Can YOU Learn for Your Business from Apple’s Stunning Results?


The tech world and the financial world are all buzzing today about the same event: Apple’s market cap passed Microsoft’s yesterday.

(Market cap is the sum when you take the price of a share of your stock times the number of outstanding shares. So, while Microsoft has higher revenue and more cash in the bank, investors are more optimistic about Apple’s future and profitability — meaning their shares are valued higher. Yesterday, Apple’s valuation made it the USA’s second biggest company in terms of market cap, after ExxonMobil.)

What can YOU learn for your business from Apple’s stunning results? Many things — but, let’s start with two:

1) Simplify and focus
2) Connect with emotion

Make a list of Apple’s product line. Didn’t take long did it? If you don’t know, go to Apple.com — it’s all on one page. Now, do the same with Microsoft. My guess is you can WORK for Microsoft and not be able to develop a complete list. Is there a lesson here? Perhaps…

What if Microsoft would say…”We’re Windows…Office…XBox”…and get rid of everything else? Would the problems associated with Vista have happened if they also weren’t worrying about Zune? Do you really want to spend time on “World Wide Telescope” when you ought to be getting Windows Mobile right?

Just because something could be cool to do…or, even profitable to do…does not mean YOU should do it! If it moves you in so many directions you lose control, ultimately it can diffuse everything…which leads to a focused competitor stealing your crown.

Second…when I was using Macs at the time people were making fun of me, and telling me to get a “real computer”…I didn’t. Couldn’t. I was emotionally attached to the darn thing. Mac User Groups created a community…Apple truly seemed to care more. Now, Apple’s products — and the experience they create at Apple Stores — also connect with our emotions, as well as fulfill our product needs.

When you connect with people emotionally, they are compelled to become more engaged. I wrote several years ago — and saw a similar approach in a blog post today — that when people “know” something, it doesn’t mean they will “do” something. Is there any smoker out there who fails to possess the knowledge that it is bad for his or her health? Yet…despite the knowledge…they smoke anyway.

Let them see a loved one dying of lung cancer, and be impacted by the emotion involved with that tragedy, and they may be more likely to throw their cigarettes away. If I’m Steve Ballmer, I’m looking for strategies that move us from being a tech company…to being a people company, connecting through our technology.

And…by the way…I would be more optimistic now than ever about Microsoft. There’s something about getting a “wake-up call” like this that inspires an organization or individual like nothing else. It’s hard to remain focused…and consider the experience rather than products…when you’re the gorilla. Don’t get me wrong — I realize they’re still the biggest player on the block. But, I would wager this event will make them a better company in the long run.

The trick for you is not to wait until someone passes you to have the epiphany.

How are you focusing…simplifying…and connecting emotionally with customers and colleagues?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Scott McKain

Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" show...to a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.

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