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Why Apple Has The Best Business Strategy On The Planet – iPhone 6

Apple Introduces iPhone 5Let me start off by confessing that I’m an Apple fan, I’m part of the Apple tribe, I love what Apple does and how they do it. With that being said I always have some interesting debates with my Android and “Other Device” friends. It always ends with them talking about their improvements, their advancements, their sexy product commercials and how Apple is behind the times. My response is generally something like, “So what, your product really doesn’t matter and no one really cares.”

Don’t get me wrong as an Apple fan, at times I find myself intrigued by the other products. In my home I’ve even had my 11 and 15 year old sons see a Samsung commercial and say that they would like to have one. My response is always simple, “We do Apple in the Williams home… just wait, Apple will have something great.” Fortunately, dad has always been right.

That leads me to the point of this post and Why Apple Has The Best Business Strategy On The Planet. Apple does a great job of creating fans, a tribe, a group of loyalist that trusts their brand. When you trust a brand you don’t get caught up in what other brands are doing. You may look out of the corner of your eye and pay attention; however you never get caught up.

Case in point, I remember people being intrigued, excited and in awe of the LeBron James commercial and the Samsung watch and Big Screen Phone and yada yada yada. Since the launch those folks have been as quiet as a church mouse. Honestly, there has been way more talk about LeBron James taking his talents to Cleveland while everyone has forgotten about Samsung’s watch or big screen phone, because although they were first and new… they just didn’t matter.

Apple’s business strategy is about creating a tribe, a group that feels like they have something in common because they have the same device, the same iPad, the same computer and the same iPhone. More importantly they deliver time and time and time again.

Apple has done it again, they have delivered and both of my sons and millions upon millions of others are happy. As a matter of fact, more than 4 million pre-orders for the new iPhones were placed when they went on sale for pre-order this past Friday. Have you ever heard of anyone pre-ordering an Android device? let me answer that question for you… No you have not. The “Other” products business strategies are being 1st and not best. Tribes wait on the best, just ask the long lines at the best restaurants around the world. The discussion sounds something like, “We had to wait in line for a bit, but oh was it worth it.”

Another thing that was worth waiting for, was waiting for Tim Cook to step out of the shadows of Steve Jobs and take his place as Apple’s leader. Every leader has that moment where they seem to find their voice and their place, Tim Cook seems to have finally found that.

As a consumer, a loyalist, a member of the Apple tribe, and someone who is a strategist by trade, I look at Apple’s business strategy as the best on the planet. Their products, brand, look, feel and delivery methods simply work. Not only will Apple be delivering happiness to their fans with the iPhone 6’s this and Apple Pay this week, they created months of intrigue for the iWatch to be released in 2015.

These strategies work by simply keeping the tribe happy and they work at putting money in the bank. You can’t argue with any of Apple’s decisions and results. The minor inconveniences of waiting has customers ending with the same response of the awesome restaurant connoisseurs, “We had to wait in line for a bit, but oh was it worth it.”

Apple is seriously brilliant at waiting things out, letting competition exhaust money on incremental changes, creating desire, creating intrigue, learning from others, hiring the best people, creating questions and then delivering a stellar product that changes the game. Honestly I think Apple sums it up best in the video intro to their Keynote address from last week. This video didn’t have any audio; however the visuals and words on the screen spoke 1000 words. It read as follows:


“Here’s to those who have always seen things differently the ones who follow a vision and not a path

Where others perceive first as valuable, you value the first thing that actually matters. While others are distracted by the new, you focus on the significance as a whole new take.

Even before you could see how, you never doubted that we would change things and them we did together… Again and again and again and again.

Relentless optimism is what moves the world forward, so keep seeing things differently. Keep trusting there is always another way, a better way, a bigger way. One that breaks down barriers and heals the landscape.

You are the difference between the world as it was and the better place it will become and different is the one thing about us that will always be the same.”

Leaked Video of New iPhone 6

Leaked Video of New iPhone 6.

What Leaders and Organizations Can Learn From The Fall Of Blackberry and The Rise Of Apple

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 6.36.42 AM

I have a friend who is somewhat of a BlackBerry fan. In his BlackBerry fandom he forwarded me the above tweet yesterday from the WallStreet Journal. Let me paraphrase what it says, “5 years ago BlackBerry accounted for half of the U.S. smartphones and today they account for none.”

I remember owning many different models of the BlackBerry with the old school track mouse roller ball thing. BlackBerry held onto the roller ball and the expensive data plans because they had an exclusive business crowd that wasn’t going to leave them no matter what. Well the iPhone had something to say about that and eventually the business folks left and BlackBerry is bankrupt, extinct and has some some really smart people in a room trying to come up with a BlackBerry rebound/comeback strategy.

I’m an Apple fan and although it’s hard for me to say, but if the Post Steve Jobs Apple company doesn’t adjust rapidly, they will find themselves in the same situation. I know the Apple fans are probably saying “no-way,” well that’s what my BlackBerry buddy who sent me the above tweet said to me about 5 years ago.

Here is the takeaway for organizations and leaders: Change, grow, adjust, stay hungry, surround yourself with the best, find fresh eyes, realize that you are not invincible, understand that success overshadows weaknesses, reinvent yourself when necessary and never ever ever take your customers and success for granted and stay ahead of the curve (BlackBerry Pun Intended).

PS: I guess the same thing can be said about your family and marriage… Never take either of them for granted.

Apple Introducing iOS 7 – Official Video

This makes me smile. ūüôā Cheers

10 Reasons Why I Prefer The iPad Mini Over The iPad 2

Let me start this post off by saying, “I’ve had every version of iPad and iPhone that has ever existed.” My last iPad was the White iPad 2 which I rocked with a portfolio type Skinny Case. My iPad has always been my Technology Swiss Army Utility Knife of choice. I use it for web surfing, speaking, researching, reading books, music, videos…

Recently I left my iPad 2 in my rental car at Thrifty in Tampa, FL. (That’s crazy because I travel a lot and this has never happened.) Unfortunately it was not recovered and that’s an entirely different blog post.¬†I’m still believing that it will be recovered, according to Find My iPhone it hasn’t been logged into wifi yet.

Prior to the incident of leaving my iPad in Tampa, I had purchased 5 iPad mini’s. Honestly, I was just a little excited that The Apple Store in #OKC happened to have them in stock while I was shopping. I thought they would make great Christmas gifts. ūüôā

One of those 5 Mini’s ended up being an early Christmas gift to myself. Fortunately, I was able to restore my new iPad Mini from the last iCloud back up of my now “lost” iPad 2. I began browsing around my new little apple device before I headed out of town. My family and I were headed to Hawaii the day after I began using my iPad Mini. This trip is a combo speaking and vacationing trip. (I’m actually typing this post from my 19th floor balcony on Waikiki Beach.)

I have been using the Black iPad mini wifi only for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that I prefer it over the iPad 2. Below are 10 Reasons Why.

10 Reasons Why I Prefer The iPad Mini Over The iPad 2

  • 1. Size Matters : The iPad Mini is actually the perfect size for a device of its type. The challenge I would have with my iPad 2 is the size with the case wasn’t a great deal smaller than a 13 inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. I would find myself getting my computer out instead of using my iPad.
  • 2. The Palm Of My Hand : Being that I use my iPad Mini primarily for speaking and web browsing, I love the fact that I can grip it in my hand and easily walk around, read, maneuver and have total freedom without any fumbling, need for special hand grip cases or the need for two hands. I can easily grip the Mini with one hand.
  • 3. Screen Display : I’m not a super technical Apple snob and I’m not even totally sure of the exact difference in display size. From the eye test I’ll say that the Mini is stellar and you can widen the margins and increase the font just a bit for perfect viewing. That observation is from a near 40 year-old who wears glasses.
  • 4. The Look : The iPad Mini just looks great. The black one is super sleek and has a black matte back.
  • 5. The Case : For the 1st time, I don’t feel like I need a fully enclosed case. I got the dark grey Smart Cover and I must say for the 1st time I think this case really is smart. Not smart because it wakes up the iPad Mini when you open it, I’m saying that because of the practical nature of it. I have the smart cover on front and the matte Ghost Armor on the back. The iPad Mini keeps it’s original sleek look, with full protection.
  • 6. The Weight : The Mini feels like it doesn’t weigh much more than the iPhone 4s. The actual specs are (iPad Mini = 0.68 pounds and iPad 2 = 1.33 pounds). It basically weighs half as much. It’s so light that if you drop it, the damage will probably be minimal.
  • 7. My Pocket : My pocket, the 16gig wifi is only $329. That’s great for my pocket and your pocket.
  • 8. My Pocket Again : This is one of my favorite things about the mini. I can put it in my pack pocket. Yes, I’m serious it can go in my back pocket. Let me give the disclaimer that I don’t wear big pocket, old school, cargo, Fubu, South Pole, extra big pants. It can fit in my back pocket if I’m wearing a regular pair of skinny jeans, with the smart cover still on I might add. What’s key to this feature is having the smart cover and the Ghost Armor. You slide it in your back pocket with the smooth ghost armor side on your bottom and the smart cover facing outwards. I was able to walk on stage last night with my mini in my back pocket, pull it out, preach, put it back in my pocket and leave the stage. It’s not something that you are going to want to sit down on; however you can have it in your pocket until you get ready to sit down, prior to getting your car or whatever. If it can fit in my pocket I’m sure it can fit in the smallest of small lady’s purse. Did I mention, “I Love The Fact That The iPad Mini Can Fit In My Back Pocket.”
  • 9. The Cameras¬†: The front and back cameras on the Mini are definitely superior to the iPad 2. The front or Facetime camera is now a 1.2 mp HD camera, additionally it has added face detection and backside illumination. The regular camera has added: face detection, backside illumination, five-elements lens, hybrid IR filter and¬†∆í/2.4 aperture. These additions have also made the video recording much better.
  • 10. Better and Smaller¬†: The 1st reason was the fact that Size Matters… the bottom line is the iPad Mini is Smaller and it’s Better than the iPad 2. It’s distinctly the perfect size for a tablet device.

In no way am I saying I’m happy that I lost my iPad 2 in Tampa, FL. ¬†I do feel a little better that losing it forced me to dive in to using my new favorite Apple device.

Have you bought one? Are you thinking about buying one? Share your thoughts, experiences, observations and comparisons of the iPad Mini.

Top 4 Productivity Tools

There are tons of tools to keep you and your small business productive. I’m always trying new apps and new things, but I seem to land on the same ones every time. Below are a some of my favorite productivity and organization tools for individuals, solopreneurs and small business owners. They are really for anyone that wants efficiency and organization in their daily operations.

I figured I’d just show the videos for Evernote and Neatdesk, as they can communicate the potential of these applications better than I can.

Evernote:

 

Evernote is universal and hands down one of the simplest tools out there. I am a fan of Evernote and the evernote clipper plugin tool for Google Chrome is awesome.

NeatDesk:

NeatDesk is by far the best real document organization tool ever. I don’t care whether you are organizing recipes, business cards, notes, statements, receipts… I had the original NeatReceipts and it was cool and it’s portable enough for me to carry with me. The NeatDesk for Mac takes it a whole nutha’ level… it’s ridiculous. I 100% guarantee you will appreciate it and Uncle Sam will as well.

CardMunch:

CardMunch is one of my favorite apps. It’s really simple, you take a business card, take a pic of it with your camera, submit it, it uploads all of the name, contact and title information along with a pic of the business cards to your contacts. Yes it’s that easy and yes it works. I have had this app for awhile, sometime last year LinkedIn bought it, so it’s now connected to LinkedIn. That doesn’t affect the usability of the app at all. I basically gather a bunch of cards, when I find a spare moment I scan them all in and throw them away. Easy, Breezy!

SoundNote:

I have had this SoundNote app for years, originally it was called SoundPaper; however SoundNote is probably a better descriptor. The short and skinny of this app is it allows you to take notes and record audio at the same time. Once you are finished taking notes, you can simply tap your notes and it will take you to that part of the audi recording. Great for meetings, conferences etc.

Share your thoughts and experiences with these products. What are some of your favorite productivity tools? 

Steve Jobs on Life, Courage & Wasting Time

‚ÄúYour time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.‚ÄĚ ~Steve Jobs

Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers

Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers. Marketing is not simply what businesses, brands and advertising agencies do — It’s what all of us do. ¬†We are all marketing something. Either our personal brand or someone else’s brand.

You are marketing by the clothes that you wear, the type of phone that you use, the restaurants that you frequent, the stories that you share on Facebook and Twitter… and the list goes on and on like the energizer bunny. ¬†BTW- What happened to the Energizer Bunny? He was a great marketer for Energizer batteries ¬†As a matter of fact, I still consider the fact that the bunny keeps going and going and going every time I make a battery purchase.

Some people claim not to be marketers because they don’t want the self-perceived negative connotation of being a “self-promoter.” ¬†That’s hogwash! Everyone is marketing something and everything is marketing. Even those individuals that play the card of, “I don’t like to market or promote, I’m just humble.” Those individuals marketing the cause for a behind the scenes and humble approach to things.

Jesus was a marketer, the #Kony2012 folks are marketers, President Obama is a marketer, Steve Jobs was a marketer, Donald Trump is a marketer, Seth Godin is a marketer, the Superintendent of your local school district is a marketer, the little league coach is a marketer, the little league player is a marketer, your children are marketers, I’m a marketer, you’re a marketer…¬†We Are All Marketers.¬†

I have shared over 20,000 tweets on Twitter, everything from personal family stuff, to quotes, to blogpost links to (fill in the blank). ¬†At the time of this post I have sent 22,221 tweets to be exact. ¬†Directly or indirectly those tweets have all marketed, shared or promoted something. ¬†For tweet #22,222 I will simply share this post because I’m A Marketer!

You have a story to tell — Tell It! ¬†You have something to promote — Promote It! ¬†You have a brand that your’re fond of —¬†Share It!¬†

If you aren’t sure of what your brand is or what you’re marketing… ask those closest to you.

Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers.

The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas

I blog 5 – 6 times each week and it’s just a consistent part of my daily regimen. ¬†People often ask me, “How do I come up with so many blogging ideas and so much blogging material?” ¬†The answer to that question is simple. ¬†The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas is…¬†Everywhere!

It’s truly that simple. There tons of blogging ideas everywhere, we simply have to look for them. ¬†I’ll walk through a day for me and potential blogging ideas from when I wake up until lunch.

  • My morning 3-B Time: Bible, Books & Blogs
  • Conversations I have with my wife and boys over breakfast
  • Clips & thoughts from the morning news channels
  • Thoughts inspired from commercials
  • Conversations with clients
  • Things I see while driving to my lunch meeting
  • Conversations during my lunch meeting
  • Observations and business practices at the restaurant
  • Front page newspaper articles
  • People watching
  • Social media interactions, quotes & observations that I’ve had prior to my lunch appt.

The bottom line is Fresh New Blogging Ideas are everywhere.  There is actually some research that indicates that individuals whom blog daily are smarter. This is attributed to the fact that on a daily basis they are forcing themselves to think about and interact with the world around them in a different context.

I simply keep a running note of thoughts in my iPhone yellow notes. ¬†I can easily jump on a flight and knock out a couple of weeks of blogposts or I can simply get up each morning and knock out a post from something that’s fresh on my mind.

The key is to think and to think often.

How do you get fresh new blogging ideas?  Share your thoughts on The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas.

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