OK, so Steve Jobs has done it all. He is at the top of his game, and has very little left to prove. At least in the pc, software, consumer electronics and digital music domain.
Perfect timing for President Obama to hand over (US government owned) General Motors and Chrysler to Mr. Jobs and get Apple to build the ultimate American car.
7 simple reasons why this could be the biggest thing ever for the USA car economy:
1. Mr. Jobs and Apple are the Gods of Materials.
Just look at the way Apple has conquered the material science space. The iPhone, the iPod variants, and of course the Mac machines – all masterpieces of blending metal, plastics, electronics into goods that consumers queue up to buy. Have any of Apple products ever failed on you? Aren’t cars almost made up of the same things, and needs someone who understands how to make magic of them all?
2. Apple gets the consumer right all the time.
We always want to buy what Apple makes. It’s because Apple understands what consumers want and aspire for. The US car industry has been cursed by too many car companies stamping out cars that consumers don’t want. Someone in that industry needs to understand consumers first.
3. Mr. Jobs knows to how beat the Japanese at their own game.
The iPod buried the Walkman. While the Walkman created music on the go, Apple recreated the magic in the digital renaissance. The same way, there has to be a way to rethink the magic of Japanese cars and make the American car great again.
4. Apple knows a thing or two about consumer loyalty.
Once an Apple customer, always an Apple customer. iTunes makes sure that almost all iPod owners stay connected to Apple always. The App store online does the same for the iPhone and iTouch owners. When was the last time you remembered Sony after buying your Bravia TV?
Haven’t you experienced that feel good rush when you walk into a brick and mortar Apple store? Car companies need to rethink their relationship with their customers pretty much the way Apple has done with consumers, and recreate that incredible sense of magic when car buyers walk into their car showrooms.
5. Want a new Business Model? Ask Mr. Jobs.
The new business lines of Apple have all remodeled conventional revenue models. iTunes makes money in an otherwise dying music industry. The Mac is almost price insensitive to competition in a piranha like infested PC business.
The US car industry needs some serious rethinking about how to invent its now failed business model. Maybe car companies need to earn profits over a long term relationship with customers rather than a one time sale? Almost the Gillette and HP model and not this buy me and forget me model?
I would think that Apple would be an ideal Company to entrust in helping create this new equation.
6. Outsourcing, global competition etc etc – Apple understand this and how.
Apple has mastered outsourcing of its products. It makes its goods all over the world. It’s an ideal company to figure out where to make the iCar once it has designed it. Efficiency, cost consciousness, etc etc – all come naturally to Apple. Apple will make sure that if a car needs to be made, it will be made in the most cost effective way on this planet.
7. Branding, Marketing and all that jazz – ask Steve how much he spends on Advertising?
Almost Shunya (zero). The marketing approach of Apple is no longer case study material – it’s the way the new world is supposed to be. Show & Tell people what you have made, and they will do the rest. They will blog, call their friends, boast about their new toy and get consumers lined up to your store.
All that wasted advertising and marketing in the global auto economy needs serious examination.
What it now takes now is to get Steve Jobs excited into creating something far bigger and everlasting than his previous products.
President Obama needs to make that phone call, motivate Steve and do the world a big favor.
Nice thoughts... hope we have something from 'i - India' (or to be precise 'i') then you or who :)