Shares in Apple have fallen 44% since their high in September last year, recording one of the most spectacular collapses in Wall Street history. Their decline has not been marked by any crisis or scandal. Rather their success has simply begun to wane and their competitors have woken up, fired up and now overtaken them some may say.
Apple historically have shown many of the characteristics of a resilient company, adapting and moving with the times, leading by innovation and establishing new markets. They were a stand out success in their ability to develop the next “must have” device. Steve Jobs led them down the path of developing a limited range of very niche products which was incredibly successful; yet now it means they are reliant on that same small stable of products.
To demonstrate that they are a truly resilient company, they will now have to show some of the key characteristics of a resilient organisation:
Now, many could say that they have already failed on one count – anticipation – in that they’ve got to where they are because no-one inside the organisation anticipated their current situation and the need to continue the innovation at the same speed.
What will come under the microscope now will be Apple’s ability to adapt and flex to this new situation and emerge stronger and better at the end of it. Then they will need to learn, both from their own lessons and those they have been given by their competitors.
It is also interesting to note that in the early stages of their success, the company had great redundancy in that it ran a product line that was almost unique and therefore protected from the competition. However, the strategy of having such a small product group has led to a lack of redundancy as all those products are assailed by the rest of the market place. They can no longer fall back to a product that is unique, or claim to be the standout leader in innovation.
This is the situation that Apple needs to return to and to get there they will have to demonstrate all of the resilience facets as a business. It will be fascinating to see if they succeed, or are reduced to the status of just another technology company shifting similar ideas to the rest of the market place.