Winner Take All In The Tech Economy

The Goodreads/Amazon story is a great example of why concentrated economic (market) power is not in the consumer’s long-run best interest.

In this case, Amazon wants to protect its bundled product, the Kindle. The Kindle is to Amazon as Office or MSIE are to Microsoft, extensions of an infrastructure franchise. Over at Google, it’s two pronged: Google+ and Android. At Apple, it’s the iTunes ecosystem.

Continue reading

“Jobs Made Apple Great By Ignoring Profit”

Via Posterous

From the Australian paper TheAge, Jobs made Apple great by ignoring profit by Clayton Christensen and James Allworth (Reuters):

Steve Jobs retires as the CEO of Apple with a reputation that will place him amongst the pantheon of history’s great global business leaders. Many people have written about what makes Jobs and Apple special, but I think they’re missing what truly set him apart. Jobs has succeeded by eschewing the one thing that most people view as the raison d’être for companies — profit.

When I left the industry to come to academia 22 years ago, it was driven by a set of questions that had troubled me for some time. Why was it that the best run companies in the world — companies that have had incredibly smart leaders, following carefully detailed plans and with tremendous execution ability — reliably seem to come unstuck? The answer to this question is what has become known as the theory of disruption.

It’s not often I argue with Christensen — one of his books on disruption is a cornerstone of a class I’ve taught at the University of Washington since 2003.  Continue reading