Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson: 'Execution is What Really Matters,' Apple is the Best

Earlier this month, Walter Isaacson, the man who wrote the best-selling biography of Steve Jobs, garnered some attention when he told a CNBC interviewer that the "greatest innovation today" was coming from Google, not Apple.

Yesterday, Isaacson did an interview with Bloomberg TV, where he clarified his original statement and noted that while he believes Google is the more innovative company, with a clearer integrated strategy, Apple is better than Google at bringing products to fruition.

isaacson

I will say one thing about the comment I made about Google being the most innovative. Innovation is great, but it ain't everything. It's not the whole equation. Execution is what really matters. Apple is the best at execution.

During the interview, Isaacson also commented on the iPhone 5c and Apple's ability to make lower cost products, noting that he believes Apple’s unwavering focus on quality will not allow it to produce subpar products to compete in the low end device market.

I don't think Apple will ever be great at doing low end. It really makes insanely great products to use the phrase Steve used 30 years ago, when he launched the Mac. What I think is going to have to happen is that they're going to have to figure out a whole new set of disruptive products.

You've heard Tim Cook hint about that; whether it's television or a wearable watch, I don't think Apple's going to do well trying to be in the commodity low end race with Samsung and others.

Apple made one of its first attempts into the mid-range market with the 2013 debut of the iPhone 5c, which it sold for $100 less than its flagship iPhone 5s. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently revealed that the launch of the iPhone 5c resulted in some inventory problems for the company, as it had underestimated people's desire for the iPhone 5s.

The company expected a more balanced demand for both phones, which led to iPhone 5s inventory shortages. Due to the lack of demand for the iPhone 5c, it remains unclear if Apple will continue on with both a higher-end and a mid-tier phone for future releases. A recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggested that while Apple will release two phones in the future, it will abandon plastic casings.

As Isaacson suggested, Apple is rumored to be working on several products that have the potential to be "disruptive." The company is said to be close to the launch of a revamped Apple TV product that will incorporate games, which could severely impact the existing console market, and the much-rumored Apple smart watch is also on the horizon.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
85 months ago

Walter Isaacson, back peddler.

By the way, writing a book about Einstein doesn't mean that you are smarter than Einstein.
Thus, writing about Steve Job doesn't mean you can be a better CEO.

By the way, posting on an Apple forum about Walter Isaacson doesn't mean you can be a better biographer.........
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
Walter Isaacson, back peddler.

By the way, writing a book about Einstein doesn't mean that you are smarter than Einstein.
Thus, writing about Steve Job doesn't mean you can be a better CEO.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
With regards to Google and innovation, I can't help but think of the Princess Bride.

With the exception of how to mine data (and they excel at that, and I am not judging them for it), what have they really innovated on? What forward thinking advancement have they really made? On their own, even?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago

I can drink to this. The tech world in general isn't turning out very much innovation at the moment, that's coming from what you could say is a tech splinter, video games. But yeah, Cook is a bean counter, everything Apple has done has been evolutionary, even iOS 7 was really just a new set of graphics. I thought it was hilarious when the iPhone 5S's slogan was "Forward thinking" when all it was was a spec bump and finger print scanner.

If you can't think of what 64 bit and Touch ID might mean for the future, then you're not very forward thinking.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
Shut up Walter. Just because you wrote a book on Steve Jobs doesn't make you an expert on the tech industry. :rolleyes:
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago


Now of late I don't think one can honestly say Apple has been great at execution. Tim Cook, 3 times in his short tenure as CEO, as had to make a public mea culpa because slow product ramp or poor demand calculations caused product contstraints resulting in revenue or sales shortfalls. For someone who's known as being brilliant at supply chain management Cook has been a dullard.


Wow.

To read these threads, Apple products are behind (smaller screens, no expandable storage, no configurability), Apple doesn't innovate anymore, and Tim Cook is a dullard in execution, particularly as it rlates to supply chain.

And yet, Apple reported record revenue and profits, record sales for iPhone and iPad.

I wish my employer and its CEO could fail and be as disappointing as Apple and Tim Cook are. It would make me a rich man.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Phil Schiller Moving on to Become 'Apple Fellow,' Greg Joswiak Taking Over as Marketing SVP

Tuesday August 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple's Phil Schiller is moving on to become an "Apple Fellow," Apple announced today, while Greg Joswiak will take over as Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, but will no longer be in charge of marketing. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is "thrilled" that Joswiak will be leading the marketing team, and that his...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...