The Ecology of Apple: A Pop-Culture Phenomenon
After the passing of ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs, one of the greatest visionaries and innovators of our generation, many came to realize truly how special the man was in terms of what he had accomplished in a life that had been curtailed due to pancreatic cancer. Very few names in the world of technology and business have lived a life as highly publicized as the Apple co-founders, a fact that can inevitably be attributed to the extraordinary impact that Apple has left and continues to leave on the lives of millions. As Google co-founder, Sergery Brin, so accurately stated after Jobs’ death, “Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product.” At times, Jobs even has been compared to the likes of names such as Thomas Jefferson and Leonardo Di Vinci: forever changing the worlds of computing, recorded music and communications. Currently, I am typing this text on a MacBook Pro, listening to Drake’s new album on the popular media platform, iTunes, and tweeting about it from my iPhone: all products pioneered by Apple under the influence of Jobs. But how did Apple’s unparalleled dominance come to be in such a competitive market? How does the ecology of Apple differ from those of not just technological-related companies, but companies of any nature all over the world? Upon analyzing Apple, one will find that Steve Jobs didn’t solely create an extremely profitable company (flirting as world’s most valuable company with a market value of $350 billion), but also masterminded a cultural shift, a novel ecology, that has ultimately left an immerse impact on not only certain industries, but also society as a whole: A phenomenon that undoubtedly separates Apple from the rest of its competitors, as the intricate nature in which it is connected internally and its influence on the world is incomparable.
Perhaps one of the most under appreciated aspects of Apple’s unique ecology lies in how interactive it is with its consumer market. Upon entering one of Apple’s 357 retail stores worldwide, you soon will notice from the vivid atmosphere that they aren’t simply locations for a company to solely sell its products, rather they have the feel of an collaborative community that all are welcome to be apart of. The vast array of eager employees, the stainless steel walls, back-lit signage, and of course, the hundreds of state of the art Apple products available for consumers to physically interact with set a unique atmosphere that seems to close the gap between a company and it’s customers.
Shortly before the release of Apple’s first iPod in 2004, Steve Jobs described his philosophy as trying to make products that were at “the intersection of art and technology,” and he certainly held true to his promise, forever changing our perceptions of function and form. However, other than the fact that Apple is delivering world-class products to millions, it is the self-sustaining nature of their products that drive the company’s high rate of sales as Apple is the only major tech company in the world that creates both hardware and software products internally, allowing the company to thrive without any outside influence whatsoever. Sales of technologies such as the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook inevitably result in masses of purchases off the App Store and iTunes, which drive the sales of more hardware products, and so on. This continuous cycle of product purchases ultimately assists in further strengthening the health of the company’s ecology as it translates into consumers buying all things Apple, rather than obtaining services from multiple companies.
Although Jobs’ is no longer the man revealing the company’s latest creations, Apple and company executives such as CEO Tim Cook, have pledged that Jobs’ passion and knack for innovation will forever remain an integral part of Apple. This turns out to be just one of many aspects of not just the regenerative, but pioneering nature of the company’s ecology as the same DNA which Apple stemmed from on April 1st, 1976 can be found in the company today in a much evolved format through it’s creations and cohesive company culture. In a world where the overwhelming majority companies are generally attempting to follow a blueprint for success, Apple is one of the few architects that creates the world as we know it today.