Let’s face it. Running any kind of company beyond a few thousand employees is a daunting task. It requires experience, vision, energy, an ability to lead, some political chops, and a great understanding not only of the products manufacturers, but distribution, design, employee management, resource allocation– am I boring you yet? Is it any wonder that a real estate developer has already run into problems running the country? The bigger an organization gets, the more there’s a need to manage differently than a smaller organization, and it’s not just about filling out an org chart or telling people what to do.
That said, here’s what I would do if I ran Apple.
BoD – the board of directors is something like the checks and balances in the U.S. government, so it pays to have members who can consent and advise properly. Or, put another way, help out however I want.
Lobbying – Apple sits with many tens of billions of dollars parked overseas, thanks to arcane U.S. tax laws. What would it take to get congress to pay a loophole here and there so that money could come back home without such a huge tax penalty? I’m thinking a million dollars for each congressman involved in changing the laws. That’s cheap at twice the price.
Mac – for many of us, the Mac is near and dear to our hearts, but Apple seems to think the whole world revolves around thinner, lighter, faster, and nothing else that is non-mobile. First, all Macs would get an upgrade to the best and most recent hardware; Mac mini, iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook. Kill the MacBook Air. Lower prices all over. And, get back to an annual upgrade cycle. We need a reason to look forward to new Macs just like iPhones.
iPhone – too many colors, not enough models. The iPhone needs at least four models; SE and smaller at the bottom, Pro at the top (with everything new that will show up next year in other models), two models and two sizes in between. Everything gets upgraded every year. No more selling last year’s model as if it were new.
iPad – please, is this so hard? Every iPad should come with a Pencil and keyboard. End of discussion. And stop it with the gazillion different versions and colors. iPad mini and iPad. Two storage configurations. A few colors each. And start making it worth a customer’s coin to upgrade. Touch ID, iris scanner, face recognition, and the only other option is cellular data (and I’d get rid of those stupid SIM cards; software works).
Apple TV – Siri is the navigation savior here because bouncing between app channels is slow and cumbersome. Siri would get more commands and options. 4k video would show up in the next upgrade. Forget the two storage options. I would go to 128GB and let it sit for a few years while people collect apps.
Watch – what’s not to like except battery life. Why isn’t there a sensor that pulls heat from the wrist to help power the battery? Where is the band with extra battery life? I would make that happen.
App Stores – how long would it take to fix the crazy sorting and search results mess that exists now? A minute? Apple’s app stores are not user friendly with search results and I would get that fixed pronto. Abandonware? Gone. If an app can’t get updated every couple of months it gets sent to the basement.
Apple Stores – no one goes there anymore; it’s too crowded. That’s a useful Yogi Berra-ism but the stores these days are crowded, and need a friendlier atmosphere. I’m thinking Starbucks inside; with booths. I like booths. With free coupon cards when you buy something from Apple or get serviced at the Genius Bar.
Right to Repair – so you want to fix your own iPhone, iPad or Mac, or, you can’t get to an Apple Store or certified repair shop? No problemo. Apple Under Mincey™ would make sure manuals and repair guides and parts would be available for order. With a price, of course. This is Apple.
Mac Pad – the world is ready for a touchscreen Mac. I would make it an ARM CPU and it would run regular macOS Sierra apps with an optional model that would also run iOS apps (much as Chromebooks run Android apps). No, it wouldn’t run macOS Sierra apps or Windows.
Lower Prices – Apple makes too much money and shareholders over the past decade have grown fat and rich, so I would lower prices across the board– every product– and that might reduce gross margins and profits, but customers would love me.
Goodbye Perks – no, not for employees. Perks for shareholders. No more dividends, and no more stock buybacks. Oh, and I would reduce the employee workweek to 60 hours. People need a life.
Those are just a few of the changes that would be implemented within the first few weeks if I ran Apple.