Whither Apple Or Wither Apple?

“Whither” means “to what place or state: whither are we bound?” Wither means “dry up; wilt, droop, go limp, fade, perish; shrink, waste away, atrophy.” Following Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), we now know “whither” Apple is headed. Their base is strong and they seek to expand it by stealing share from Android and up-selling the Mac. Is that enough to make Apple’s base grow? Or is it a strategy that all but guarantees Apple’s base will stagnate and wither?


Apple’s base is incredibly deep and strong.


Over 100 million iPods;
Over 500 million iPhones; and
Over 200 million iPads.
Over 800 million iOS devices sold overall.

Over 230 million iOS devices sold in the past 12 months, alone.
Over 130 million of those 230 million iOS devices went to new users. That’s a lot of new users and that’s the polar opposite of “stagnation.”

89% of iOS users are running Apple’s latest iOS 7 operating system. By way of contrast, only 9% of Android users are on Android’s latest operating system, Kit-Kat.


Over 80 million Macs sold. Note that 80 million Macs is only a tenth of the 800 million iOS units that have been sold.

Over 40 million of those 80 million Mac users are running the latest Mavericks operating system. That’s a 51% adoption rate, the fastest PC adoption rate in history. By way of comparison, after two years, Windows 8 adoption is at 14%.

While overall PC sales have declined by 5% over the past year, Mac sales have actually increased by 12%. Again, this growth is important for our later analysis, so please make a mental note of it.

iOS and OS X

iOS and OS X users combined are rapidly approaching one billion users.


Apple will easily reach the milestone of 1 billion iOS devices sold this year. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)


Over 9 million registered developers, up 47% since 2013. Let me repeat that. Apple’s registered developers have increased by an astonishing FORTY-SEVEN PERCENT in the last year alone. Again, this is the very opposite of stagnation.


Everyone keep in mind that Apple Is Doomed ~ Alex Wilhelm (@alex)

Undoubtably, Apple is doing better than well today. However, that still leaves unanswered the question of tomorrow. Where will Apple’s future growth come from?

Social Media Growth

Whither growth?

iPhone ShareApple has a lock on the premium MP3 ((The MP3 Market is fading fast.)), Smartphone, Tablet and PC ((Desktops and Notebooks)) markets. Apple’s grip on these market is very stable and not being seriously challenged. However, growth, not stability, is what one strives for. How then is Apple going to grow?

In his excellent analysis, “GROWING APPLE AT WWDC“, Ben Thompson of Stretechery breaks down the only two ways Apple can grow — either by stealing share from others or by up-selling to their existing client base. Today we’ll examine how Apple is trying to steal share from Android. Tomorrow, in my Insider article (subscription required), I’ll take long look at how Apple is trying to up-sell the Mac.

Stealing Share From Others

There are three ways for Apple to steal share from Android. The first is to expand sales into areas where only Android is for sale. That means expanding its base of carriers. Apple is doing that, so I won’t dwell on it here. The second way is marketing and the third way is to reduce barriers to entry — to eliminate “deal breakers” that might prevent Android users from switching to Apple devices.


Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don’t know which half. ~ Lord Leverhulme

During the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple went out of their way to trash Android. This was not an accident. If Apple wants potential customers to switch from Android to Apple then Apple has to highlight where Android’s problems lie and how Apples products serve as the solution to those problems.

— Apple pointed out that Android users were often unable to upgrade to the latest operating system and over one third of Android users were still using an operating system four or more years old. These users are not getting great new features, not running the latest apps and not getting security updates (and it shows.)

— Apple highlighted their own spectacular (97%) customer satisfaction ratings.

— Apple harped on the many privacy concerns that surround Android and Google products.

— Apple hammered Android on their lack of security, and in so doing, added the term “toxic hellstew” to the computing lexicon.

Renee Richie, has written an excellent article wherein he notes that Apple wants to be seen as number one where it matters most: engagement, affluence and value. This is not a new message. Apple has hammered home this theme over and over again.

We are unique position of having world class hardware, software and service skills under one roof, which enables us to provide an unparalleled user experience to hundreds and millions of customers. Working with our vibrant developer community we have built a large and thriving ecosystem. We are winning with our products in all the ways that are most important to us, in customer satisfaction, in product usage and in customer loyalty. ~ Tim Cook

Removing Barriers

With iOS 8, Apple battles Android on its own turf, allowing its users more choice. ~ Gigaom (@gigaom)

In addition to marketing Android’s weaknesses and iOS’ corresponding strengths, Apple can steal share from Android by making it easier for Android users to switch. One way to do this is to remove barriers; to eliminate “deal breakers”; to annex popular, but unique to Android, features and make them their own. Apple did this, with a vengeance, at WWDC 2014. A few examples:

  1. Notifications
  2. Widgets
  3. Messaging
  4. Quicktype
  5. Third-Party Keyboards
  6. Exstensibility

Looks like the big news at WWDC is iOS becoming a power-user operating system. ~ Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken)

Tim Cook and Craig Federighi’s Apple?

Apple’s efforts to add geeky Android features to their own products may just be a market response — an attempt by Apple to attract more Android users. However, I think it may also be an area where the current management of Tim Cook and Craig Federighi diverge from their predecessors, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall. Steve Jobs was a purist and I’m guessing he wouldn’t have wanted to use scarce resources to create features that he didn’t think were important to mainstream users. And make no mistake about it — because this mistake IS being made all across the Technosphere — many of the features Apple added on Monday are totally unnecessary to mainstream users.

One of the unique aspects of Apple has been its willingness to embrace counter-intuitive realities. For example, Apple alone seems to understand that the more you limit what a computer can do, the more likely it is that it can reliably do the things it can do. Another example is choice. Apple knows that simplifying a product has nothing to do with eliminating features and everything to do with eliminating the burden of decision making from its users.

[pullquote]The features we clamor for most are the features that normals use least[/pullquote]

This is, of course, heresy to the Technoratti. We live in our own little geeky bubble and don’t realize that the features we clamor for most are the features that normals use least. Being un-empathetic is a human condition, but neckbeards like us have raised obliviousness to an art form.

Apple is doing the things we told ourselves they’d never do in their stubbornness. ~ Gabriel Visser (@gvssr)

Hmm. Stubborn, ey?

When a person stands their ground and we agree with them, they are principled. When a person stands their ground and we disagree with them, they are stubborn. It’s all a matter of perspective and if there’s one thing the tech crowd is lacking, it’s perspective.

All we know is that the power features we so dearly love are essential TO US. Therefore, we assume these features must be essential TO EVERYONE. As Apple has demonstrated over and over and over again — it just ain’t so. Normals buy Apple products, not despite the geek features they lack, but BECAUSE they don’t have to deal with all that geekery.

Steve Jobs was a fanatic and we loved him or hated him for it. Tim Cook strikes me as a more practical sort of man. I’m told Craig Federighi is a bit more geeky than Scott Forstall was. It should, therefore, have come as no surprise to us that Apple was bending a little and becoming a little bit more Android-like.

It should have come as no surprise — but it still did.

Whither Apple or Wither Apple?

So, is this a good thing or a bad thing for Apple?

In the short run, it is great for public relations. The pundits and the techheads and the acolytes of “open” are eating this up. Google the words “Apple” and “WWDC” and “open” and you’ll find a dozen or so articles praising the “new” more “open” Apple.

My 2¢: for the past few years it’s felt like Apple’s only goal was to put us in our place. Now it feels like they might want to be friends. ~ Cabel Sasser (@cabel)

You know who needs a friend, Cabel? End users, that’s who. Because when developers become more important than end users you get — Microsoft.

Putting developers “in their place” — which is, to say, placed behind end users — is exactly what Apple should be doing.

So in the short-run, developers and geeks are loving the new friendlier, more open Apple. But how is that going to play in long run? Will the “new” Apple be a better Apple; a more successful Apple? Or has Apple begun to lose their way, betraying the very core of their being?

The Argument Against

There are a couple of very good arguments against Apple’s new approach. And, ironically, they come from no less a source than Tim Cook himself:

We believe in the simple, not the complex. ~ Tim Cook, Acting Apple CEO, January 2009 FQ1 2009 Earnings Call

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. ~ Tim Cook, Acting Apple CEO, January 2009 FQ1 2009 Earnings Call

We don’t believe we can do things at the level of quality and link things as we want to between hardware, software and services so seamlessly if we do a lot of stuff. So we’re going to stick with our knitting with only doing a few things and doing them great. ~ Tim Cook

The Argument For

On the other hand, there’s this:

It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. ~ Steve Jobs

Can we make a product that we all want? We think we’re reasonable proxies for others. So those are things we’d ask about any new product category. ~ Tim Cook

The Verdict?

Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, Tim Cook and Craig Federighi all believed or believe that they were or are “reasonable proxies” for others. The proxies have changed. The products will too.

The technology isn’t the hard part. The hard part is, what’s the product? Or, who’s the customer? ~ Steve Jobs

As Steve Jobs said, the hard part is knowing who your customer is. So long as Tim Cook and Craig Federighi keep the customer in mind, no one will much mind if they make Apple just a tiny bit geekier.


Tomorrow, in my Insider’s article (subscription required), I will take a hard look at the second part of Apple’s growth strategy: up-selling the Mac. It’s very counter-intuitive to seek growth in a shrinking market and one has to question how much of an impact this strategy can have. However, without question, up-selling the Mac is completely aligned with Apple’s business model and it may have much more upside that one would initially think.

UPDATE: The follow-up article, entitled: “Up-Selling The Mac” is now available, here. Subscription required.

Why Apple’s New Designed in California Ads are Strategic for the USA

There was a recent report that Apple’s current “Designed in California” ads were not a hit with consumers and various writers who reported on this urged Apple to change them and to start bringing out cool ads again.
While the ads may not seem cool to some, for Apple these ads are very strategic and will run as long as it takes for Apple to hit home the message that the fruit of Apple’s labor starts here and regardless of where they are manufactured, these are American bred products.

Apple has always been proud of the fact that they are an American company and more specifically, a major force in the growth of Silicon Valley that for decades has been and still remains the epicenter of all things tech. This ad helps reinforce the idea that Silicon Valley is not going away and in fact will continue to be a major tech design center well into the future.

But I also believe that Apple has been reading the tea leaves and has seen how Congress and many of the American people are going down a track to try and bring more manufacturing back to the US. They also understand that creating US designed products will be more strategic to the USA’s long term vision of making the US much more relevant in a time of globalization.

You may think that I am crazy suggesting this, but even Apple’s competitors are seeing that if the products are designed and manufactured over here that they may be seen more favorably by consumers. More importantly, it could give them favor with the US government and the American people who are getting more and more concerned that the US is loosing its edge, especially to S. Korea and China.

The Japanese car makers have been doing this for years. Besides doing a lot of actual manufacturing in US cities, a lot of the actual design work is being done here as well. They just don’t tout it like Apple is doing with the “designed in California” campaign.

Interestingly, Samsung, who is Apple’s biggest competitor these days, is moving more and more development to California. They are adding a huge extension to their San Jose Campus and building up their research center in Palo Alto. They are expected to hire more than 2000 hardware and software engineers in Silicon Valley to populate these new facilities over the next two years.

If US consumers, the US government, and US companies start emphasizing the new battle cry “designed in the USA” to bolster their position in the face of the globalization challenge, Samsung could soon say that their products too are “designed in California.” But this is where Apple has a gotcha for Samsung.

Not only is Samsung a S. Korean company, but as a S. Korean company they are very nationalistic. Can you imagine Samsung US trying to convince their top corporate execs to launch a Samsung ad campaign stating “Designed in the US or CA” and getting their OK for this ad? Not happening.

Google is also following Apple’s lead and taking it a step further and through their Motorola division, just started running ads that say that your smartphone can even be designed by you and will be made in the USA.

Neither of these companies are doing this because they recently caught some nationalistic fever. Both realize that globalization is a much bigger threat to the US and their own markets and that is time to be very clear that the USA is still top dog when it comes to its role in the tech market and that people from around the world need to value this fact. Apple is also leading the charge to bring at least some of their manufacturing back to the US and will make the new Mac Pro in Austin, Texas.

With these ads, Apple is positioning themselves as a leader in this “USA Designed” category of products that I am hearing Washington is quite fond of. I also expect these ads to influence more US based companies who design products in the US to soon emphasize this fact too. Apple is just ahead of this trend and leading the charge.

The Curious Case of Microsoft Marketing

Is it just me or am I missing or not seeing much marketing effort by Microsoft these days? Generally I am very observant to marketing campaigns within our industry due to my conviction of its importance. Because of that I try to pay close attention to tech companies consumer marketing efforts on every medium. This is why it is surprising to me to not see the kind of marketing I would expect for a company with an critical strategic asset in the market with Windows Phone and one that is coming up on the most important Windows launch in over a decade.

When it comes to Windows Phone, most of the marketing efforts I am seeing is either driven by the carriers or by Nokia at this point. Perhaps Microsoft is playing a role in those as well but to be honest even what I am seeing marketing wise around Windows Phone is not enough in my opinion. Windows Phone is incredibly strategic to Microsoft from a Windows brand and platform standpoint. Because of its importance I would have expected Microsoft to saturate the market with branding, messaging, and positioning.

Marketing Like a Record Label

Perhaps Microsoft is taking the approach record labels do when one of their artists is launching a new album. The music industry is so incredibly saturated with artists all competing for consumer mind share. It is nearly impossible, although becoming more possible with Twitter, to keep artists top of mind share all year. Because of this, labels store up marketing budget until the months prior to an artist’s album release in order to raise the artist back into the publics mind. As much as I disagree with this approach in the tech industry perhaps this is the approach Microsoft is taking.

Whatever approach Microsoft is taking they need to take immediate action to elevate their brand and Windows / Windows Phone mind share. This would prime the pump for when Windows 8 finally launches and hopefully make their partners lives easier driving mind share of new Windows products for this fall. I hope Microsoft has a massive marketing campaign planned because I believe it is one of many things critical to the success of Windows 8.

Interestingly, Apple has cracked the code when it comes to branding. I would argue that Apple, more so than any company in this industry, maintains a consistently elevated mindshare. This is due to the tech media’s fascination with all things Apple, their marketing strategy, their event and product release strategy, their retail stores, and host of other well-executed strategies. Due to those strategies employed by Apple it is not surprising that the results of a Nikkei Brand Asia 2012 results show Apple as the number 1 consumer brand in China, Japan, and Taiwan and No. 2 in South Korea ahead of Samsung.

Marketing is best done strategically spread out over time rather than in bulk bursts. The goal should be to maintain share of consumer mind not spike the interest then let them get interested in the next shiny thing to catch their attention.

Marketing to Moms – a Language Barrier

Before attending the recent CES Show in Las Vegas – my 12th consecutive visit to this, the annual tech pilgrimage. I ventured a prediction to my husband: “As much as I hope this is not the case, based on the PR barrage I have received prior to the event this year, I think many of products aimed at women at the Show will STILL be mostly pink”.

Although I can admit this was not entirely the case and the MommyTech section of the Show encompassed almost exclusively fitness gadgets, nail polish machines, and rhinestone accessories for my smart phone and tablet, my disappointment came from a different source.

Tech marketers are still only speaking in speeds and feeds.

With a few notable exceptions – new technologies demonstrated by consumer electronic brands – large and small, highlighted exclusively the power of the processor, the water-resistant casing, the speed of the memory and more – but I seldom heard “and this is what it means to consumers”.

Why is it is so difficult to make that translation? Tech retailers do the same thing. At a recent experience in Best Buy looking to buy an SLR camera, the salesman focused on the quality of the lens, talking about pixels, the number of crystals and even explained how the light is processed inside but he never said: “And all this means that you will confidently take the best, most pristine pictures to capture your most special memories”.

It is 2012 people. Women and moms in particular account for two-thirds of consumer purchases and they are speaking up, engaging brands, sharing their experiences and recommending products they love on Twitter, Facebook and pinning pictures on Pinterest.

Speak to us in plain language; highlight the benefits of speed, durability, and reliability in terms that support our daily life. Such as: “it will be fast and ready when you need to make that call”, or “it will endure the wear and tear of 11 YO triplets at home”.

Even geeks like me, need to hear how your technology will enhance our lives.

Oh and please, drop the “best of breed” – I can’t even translate what that means to me!

The Flaw in Samsung’s Anti-iPhone Commercial


I have to admit, the new Samsung commercial is one of the better commercials from a marketing standpoint for Android devices and Samsung in particular. If you haven’t seen it I suggest checking it out here.

What has been the criticism of many commercials pitching cell phones, Droid’s in particular, is how they don’t market any real value to the end consumer. Showing a gal fighting a robot, or a person hijacking a truck to steal a phone, doesn’t necessarily showcase to the end consumer why they should choose this product over another.

This latest Samsung commercial is highly entertaining and a welcomed departure from the usual commercials from iPhone competitors. That being said, although well intended, I think it misses the broader opportunity and is therefore fundamentally flawed.

As I processed this new Galaxy SII commercial, the flaw in their messaging hit me when a would be iPhone buyer in line at an Apple store said this:

“How will people know I upgraded, since the new one looks the same?”

Despite a range of other odd moments in the commercial, this one struck me because it leaves me thinking that Samsung is interested in iPhone converts, or at the very least early adopters. Granted, I am going to analyze this commercial more than most but it is still a valid observation.

What is flawed with this commercial is that it makes no sense to the non-techie consumer, the largest part of the market and the one Apple’s commercials are designed to speak communicate with. Samsung shouldn’t be concerned with consumers upgrading from the iPhone 4 to the 4S.

This fact hit me while I was laughing at the commercial, because I thought it was funny, and my wife said “I don’t get it.” She didn’t get it because, although she likes the iPhone, she is not an early adopter. That Samsung commercial in no way interested her in the Galaxy SII.

Samsung would be more wise to market to consumers whom are shopping for their first smartphone. This commercial, it appears, is not designed to go after that market. This is the marketing blunder I believe Samsung has made. Apple is out marketing to new consumers, mostly first time iPhone shoppers, and Samsung is focusing solely on existing hardcore Apple early adopters.

Apple marketing is chasing the future and Samsung marketing is stuck in the past.

The Apple Brand Is a Powerful Selling Point

At the Intel Developer Forum this week I saw a number of interesting products and product concepts from a wide range of manufacturers.

As I looked over many of these products, some from known brands and some from more obscure brands, which are known as white labeled laptops, I started thinking about how important the role of the brand is as it relates to consumer purchasing decisions.

Currently my consumer research focus is North America, so I can’t speak for the other regions, but in the west consumers resonate with brands.

I saw many very thin and very light notebooks called UltraBooks from Acer, Asus, Toshiba and a slew of others.

Many of the UltraBook designs that I saw were poorly attempting to look like the MacBook AIR. One from Asus came incredibly close. However it was that product that got me thinking about the role of brand.

My thesis, which is and has been evolving, is that Apple’s brand is a major factor in the overall appeal of their products. This is something that can not be created or duplicated overnight by competitors.

Of course Apple makes great products but these products fall under a very distinguishable and relatable brand.

I see a lot of interesting UltraBook designs coming from manufacturers. Intel wants to get these prices down so the lure of one of these products over the MacBook Air would be price.

But here is the problem. A growing number of American purchasers don’t want cheap. Our research is showing that the value and premium segment of the market is growing at an alarming rate. And, with that segment, brand matters.

In the US and perhaps even in growing segments all over the globe, the strength of the Apple brand is unparalleled in computing currently. That causes real problems for companies like Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba etc who don’t have nearly the brand strength as Apple.

I view what is happening in personal electronics similar to what has been happening with fashion. People make brand or style centric decisions based on what they feel reflect them as a person. Again in this reality brand is very important.

Never before did this hit me with such truth than when I was doing consumer market research for a PC OEM who was struggling in the consumer segment.

My goal of the research was to explore the role of design with the younger more influential early adopter audience. The issue of design as a personal statement hit home when I showed the current non-Apple notebook design to a college student and asked for his thoughts. Calmly and quickly he said to me “I wouldn’t be seen in public with that notebook.”

Consumers in the west are now making conscious decisions about the tech products they buy and how carrying that brand around is a part of their self-image. Because of that, brand matters.

The Apple brand is just one part of a fast and deep collection of competitive advantages.

We will be doing more research on this subject soon, but I have a hunch that if you stuck any of the current UltraBooks next to the MacBook Air and asked which product would these customers would buy, a very large group of them would choose the Air and the Apple brand would play a role in that decision.

Many could argue that price matters. To this I would agree however I don’t believe that in the US, where PC’s are a mature market, that price is the only factor in that decision. Even if UltraBooks come in at $200 or more less than the MacBook Air, I don’t believe in any way that threatens Apple’s growth going forward.

Apple – Building a Brand, Leaving a Legacy

There’s this thing in life that most of us have experienced. It’s a sort of metaphysical passing of one’s self. Those moments when you pass a place you know and can almost see your younger self (or maybe your older self), standing right there in a different time. For me, Cupertino has always held those doorways and windows. Like most of the kids who grew up in Cupertino, I used to make extra money picking apricots in the orchards.

Obviously, fruit has remained a big theme for Cupertino. Of course, I’m speaking tongue in cheek – as most of the world knows, Steve Jobs built Apple’s headquarters here (it’s his hometown too; one of many things we share in common). So, once lush with orchards and wineries, Cupertino is now one of the geek capitals of the world. I say that with pride and humor, because I am definitely one of them, standing on the thin line between artistry and technology. In fact, I worked at Apple for many years, and I’m proud to say that I launched the focus on music and led strategic Music and Entertainment initiatives during my 10 years there.

So I am one of the truly lucky ones, with strong roots both in the Cupertino of old – and the Cupertino of now. The roots of now, the Apple tree, are firmly incontrovertibly implanted in Steve Jobs. As stock prices have shown, Jobs is absolutely the trunk of Apple and inseparable from where investors put the worth of the company.

And here’s the real crux of what I want to say in this piece: Seeing Steve Jobs battle through the fight of his life to restore Apple to greatness – a graceful, courageous and obviously successful battle – doesn’t hold a candle to seeing him fight for his life now. But what he’s creating, despite (or because of) that illness is mind blowing. Naysayers can address the iCloud any way they want, but what we all know is that it’s pretty damned likely to be successful. Apple is ending the war on clouds and lockers and legitimizing what the consumer wants, whether the music industry agrees or not.

It is the new digital age, and like it or not we’re not going to stop access. We’re not even going to control access. Steve Jobs has literally put all his apples into one basket in agreement. Why does it matter? It matters because, like Bob Lefsetz said recently, Apple is EASY. The huge base of consumers out there trust that if they get an iPad or iPod or iTunes … whatever, it will work. Apple has not only galvanized a brand, but it has built a huge, vocal community of brand advocates. No amount of advertising money could have busted the iPad out of the gate the way the users themselves did.

The second part of a brand is always fulfilling the promise you set forth (this is straight from branding queen Libby Gill’s rulebook). And, quite simply, Apple delivers on their promise day in and day out. They listen to their constituency and they build a better mousetrap, make better stuff, and address issues like the cloud – maybe a little later than the creative disruptors, but without a doubt, they’re putting their weight (and their money) where their mouth is.

Which brings me to the issue of legacy: Apple is a big deal – not just to the world, that’s obvious – but here, in Cupertino (my hometown). Legacy is a lot like a brand, in its truest form, it delivers on a promise made. The new Steve Jobs’ Cupertino Apple Campus Mothership is absolutely part of that promise. One day after the WWDC conference, Jobs put forth his new campus proposal to the Cupertino City Counsel, ripe with more than apples. Steve Jobs has designated acres and acres of his campus for apricot orchards – honoring the tradition of the Valley; that’s roots. And it’s deeper than I can convey.

I could go on and on about Apple’s commitment to its future and to the ever growing employee base (I was part of that once, and I retain a strong, golden thread to those people and the work they do), but the commitment from Steve Jobs is bigger than even that. I think I should come clean here and say that obviously I admire Steve Jobs. I don’t agree with him all the time, obviously – or with Apple for that matter. But I’ve seen him renovate more than a company or a product line. I’ve seen him refresh the people around him. I’ve watched him galvanize thousands of employees to get laser focused on success and build something meaningful. I’ve witnessed the grace, elegance, and simplicity with which the products have sparked a revolutionary embrace among consumers. I’ve watched his address at Stanford’s graduation a dozen times and brought that message into my own life – which brings me back to that metaphysical doorway I mentioned earlier. To that glimpse of one’s self coming and going.

You see, we’re all creating a legacy all the time. We are ALL in the process of going, like it or not.
A brand, well that’s for now. But a legacy… what we build that will outlast us, that’s huge. There are 3,700 trees in what will be the new Apple campus as of today. According to initial specs, Apple hopes to have 6,000 trees when the mothership is built. In fact, Steve Jobs hired experts from Stanford to consult on indigenous trees to make this come to “fruition” (sorry, I couldn’t resist). To me, no matter what my life has become – working with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, innovators and influencers, celebrities and musicians, I often look through one of those doorways and see myself picking fuzzy apricots from the tress here in Cupertino. I remember where I come from and, like Steve Jobs, that my legacy has to be bigger than my brand.

And just my humble opinion, whatever those trees are, whatever fruit they bear, in my book they’re all Apple trees.