A few months after Jobs’ death Business Insider published an article that struck a chord with me. In Why Every Company Needs To Be More Like IBM And Less Like Apple Mark Fidelman argues that IBM is way better at creating an attainable and sustainable innovation culture than Apple has ever been or will ever be.
Apple pictures IBM as Big Brother in its 1984 Superbowl ad but Mark argues that today IBM is the antithesis of Big Brother. It’s as he calls Big Open. Apple, on the contrary has transformed to a company with a genius led culture of fear quoting Adam Lashinsky from Fortune Magazine.
Apple’s closed culture has left the company with an innovation vacuum after its founder left whereas one genius leaving IBM would not matter at all. Its genius lies in what Mark calls fostering innovation through co-creation with its employees, suppliers, partners and customers. This is what creates real shareholder values he argues.