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Articles: Second Guessing Apple

If corporate rumor mongering, article-writing, blog-posting, second-guessing and the like could be collected into hill-sized piles, Apple’s pile might be the size of Mt. Everest… while the average of all the rest of the world’s companies might barely reach the height of a baseball pitching mound.

The same kind of ranking for creating passion, both positive and negative, undoubtedly is dominated by Apple, which of course helps fuel the rumor mongering, blog-posting and so on, which helps fuel the passion, becoming a never-ending cycle of free publicity for Apple.

But there is an absolute and identifiable reason why this company has risen to the world’s upper echelon of actual company size as well (Wall Street-wise anyway), and that’s simply because despite all the scrutiny, they are almost always smarter than anyone thinks.

This comment isn’t made from a fanboy perspective… indeed, I have taken shots at Apple despite being a reseller for them. My perspective actually comes from a growing awareness that even when they do something that a lot of people think is either odd or nonsensical, time proves that Apple has made the right decision more often than not.

These thoughts came to the fore in regards to Apple’s decision to discontinue the XServes. Immediately, everyone with an opinion has weighed in, often decrying Apple’s lack of foresight and insight. To be fair, part of the reason this happens is because Apple is a very secretive company. For example, if they had a master plan to take over all the world’s Enterprise computing in 2012, they might do the exact same thing they just did and not say any more than they did.

But just because the industry doesn’t know what they’re up to doesn’t mean they don’t have a long-term vision. And that’s what I’ve come to understand over the last decade. They do in fact have a very specific vision, and they almost always execute on that vision with precision and genius, and when you look back down that road a couple of years hence, you pretty much always think, “Aha. Now I see what they were thinking.”

This certainly doesn’t mean that people aren’t affected negatively by these decisions. If we owned an “XServes R Us” store, we’d be affected very negatively. But that wouldn’t change one iota whether it was a good decision or not for Apple. To be clear, they haven’t discontinued server solutions altogether, just the Xserve hardware at the moment.

In regards to the XServe discontinuation, I will admit that I don’t know what Apple’s vision is for servers in the long term. But after hiking up the mountain with them for almost two decades, I’m willing to bet that their vision is a smart one. They have invented categories they continue to dominate, they dominate categories that now look completely different because they entered them, and they are a large company that has literally exploded with growth as a result. Anyone who doesn’t look at that and concede that it is generally a company that knows exactly what it’s doing has more ego than brains, in my humble opinion.

Are they always right? Of course not. But they win most of the arguments out there by not saying anything and just executing brilliantly.
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