In this Business Week article about Kodak’s CEO Antonio M. Perez wanting to “remake the company” (yet again), the author inserts a sentence, “Kodak’s Perez dreams of replicating Apple’s success.” For over 25 years, I’ve read a steady flow of business articles about Apple. It amuses me that such coverage swings from “Apple is the model of failure” to “Apple is the model of success.”
I’ll leave it up to others to decide if Apple is a model of success (i.e., the ability to recreate itself and make market-altering products) or failure (i.e., to live up to its potential).
In the meantime, however, I’d suggest business writers — and business graduate school professors — to stop using Apple as a comparison model for business success or failure. Understanding Apple is not a “business school” subject — rather its one for schools of philosophy, literature or, perhaps, theology. You see, the customers (and I am one) who make Apple what it is don’t purchase products. They (we) accept and enter a myth — a cult. Joining in that myth is not about operating some software or hardware, it’s more like living in Narnia. Unless Kodak has a CEO or MBA-types who can create Narnia, they have no chance of replicating Apple’s success…or failure.