Recently there were several very negative articles about Apple, and conversely very positive about Samsung, in USA Today, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. After those articles came out, at the Annual Shareholders Meeting, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said, “We stay very focused and work on a few things. Where market share is important is in being big enough to attract an ecosystem. We’re really aware of the competition as well. We don’t have our heads stuck in the sand. There’s a button or two we could press to make the most. But that would not be good for Apple.”
He went on to say that Apple is focused on making great products and not on selling the most of any type of product. A few weeks later, Warren Buffett said this about Apple’s declining stock price, “I would run the business in such a manner as to create the most value over the next five to 10 years. You can’t run a business to push the stock price up on a daily basis.”
Lessons for Your Business
Tim Cook could have lowered the prices on the iPhone, iPad, and iMac and driven sales through the roof. He could have gotten into a price war with Samsung and really slowed down their momentum. That is one way to create appropriate value for customers. Instead he chose to focus on making even better products. In other words, he focused on creating greater value over the next five to ten years. That’s another way to create appropriate value for customers.
What decision is right for your business at this time? You don’t have to do the same thing that Tim Cook did, but you do have to make decisions. You can’t be all things to all people. Cook drew a line in the sand that may have made a lot of shareholders mad, but he did make a decision that he thought was best for the business.
What decision do you need to make right now that you believe is the best thing to do for your business?