In his latest article, Enderle writes:
Apple is a marketing-driven company — something unique in the technology segment — while Microsoft has largely been engineering-driven. During the 90s, this was actually more of an Apple liability than an asset, because Apple was being run by people who clearly didn’t get Apple’s unique capability. Steve Jobs returned Apple to its roots, and the company came back.
What makes a marketing-driven company is that products are created in line with marketing programs. In effect, they are designed to easily fit marketing messages and campaigns. In Apple’s unique case, it is Steve Jobs himself who assures this link; he starts thinking about how he will introduce a new product right from its conception.
This is the same stereotypical BS from anti-Apple folks who simply can’t wrap their minds around Apple’s success, so instead, they attribute it solely to “marketing.” As an asside, it’s funny that Enderle acts as if he’s somehow privy to how Apple comes up with its products.
Apple, admittedly, excels at marketing, but the products it advertises are often the best of their class. Apple isn’t a marketing driven company. Rather, it’s a company that strives to create products that are so great that they practically market themselves.
Go back in time to the early 2000’s, before the iPod became the de-facto MP3 player on the planet. At the time, the MP3 player market was filled with a number of underwhelming and clunky devices with horrible control schemes. The iPod, though, was able to catch on because people were hooked from the first time they used the incredibly intuitive touchscreen scroll wheel. When a product is so far ahead of the competition, word of mouth reigns supreme, and marketing is almost a gimme.
And the iPhone, for example, was a generational leap forward in terms of product engineering. The fact that it took competitors nearly 2 years to finally match the feature set and usability of the original iPhone exemplifies just how far ahead of its time the iPhone truly was.
So is Apple a marketing-driven company? Not at all. It just know how to market the hell out of exquisitely engineered products.