Apple’s Secret Strategic Weapon

This interesting article describing how Apple’s use of strategic timing has been a big part of their success, also reinforces what I said earlier: it isn’t always best to be first.

Of course, Apple’s great timing requires a 1-2 punch combo of company strengths:

  1. Great technology — Obviously the company has strong technical expertise. It’s not the major differentiator, just something they’re good at not getting wrong. It’s the jab that sets up the power punch.
  2. Amazing user experience — This is the knockout punch: Apple understands that point where technology goes from “a little bit nifty, a little bit annoying” to insanely cool.

New technologies are never going to be perfect. But they work hard at introducing products only when the technology enables them to create a design that many people will find magical.

And in that sense it’s really helpful to them when other companies introduce products first, because it helps them identify which weaknesses get in the way of the magic, and which ones really aren’t that big a deal. By prioritizing, they’re able to consistently introduce products that a lot of people will be passionate about.

That’s the key–patience:

Wait ’till it’s great.