Why can’t anyone replicate Apple’s success?
Everyone is trying. From yogurt makers to car makers to internet search companies, everyone tries to copy Apple’s products, or design philosophy, or retail strategy, or marketing, or chase Apple into an industry that Apple created.
But none of the copying transforms any of the companies that try.
Why not? It is an interesting question.
I offer two answers:
1) Everyone is chasing Apple. You cannot overtake anyone when you are trying to keep chasing them. Still, I would think that the chasing would have the ol’ “Hitch-your-wagon-to-a-star” effect; I would think that at least some of the companies would find themselves transformed into very profitable companies. But that does not happen. Except for Microsoft in the 1990s. But it hasn’t worked for them since them… Microsoft’s market capitalization in 1999: 500 billion; Microsoft’s market cap today: 200 billion. Still very large. But 2 1/2 times smaller than it was.
2) Everyone is trying to copy the external, peripheral factors in Apple’s success. Why isn’t anyone (a company or individual) copying Apple’s focused vision? Organizations and companies spend a lot of money and time and energy on gathering data, buying data, reading data, training, fads, etc. But, I submit, you could spend that money and time (or less) on learning about, growing, sharpening your vision–as a person or a company.
Vision trumps all. That’s the explanation for Apple’s success. You likely already have a vision. Go with it. If you don’t, knock yourself out finding and focusing your vision. Anything else is just a game. An unprofitable, unsustainable game.