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The Secret to Apple's Success

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted September 10, 2010


If you haven’t discovered Seth Godin’s blog, today is the day. I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve been reading Seth’s blog for years now and can tell you that his insights into marketing and the human condition are spot on —-and sometimes brilliantly so.

In fact, this is the smartest thing I’ve read all week as Seth gives voice to what all of us already know to be true:

Free will and creativity are forces to be encouraged on the job—-not crammed into some tired old box.

Otherwise, you’re not much better than that rat on the wheel.

All of which is why a company like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) can continue to dominate the market. They don’t conform to the box, they take the freedom to create it.

That being said here’s Seth’s take on the real value of labor…

By Seth Godin entitled: Whatever happened to labor?

Not Labor with a capital L, as in organized labor unions. I mean labor as in skilled workers solving interesting problems. I mean craftspeople who use their hands, their backs and their heads to do important work….

..In a world where labor does exactly what it’s told to do, it will be devalued. Obedience is easily replaced, and thus one worker is as good as another. And devalued labor will be replaced by machines or cheaper alternatives. We say we want insightful and brilliant teachers, but then we insist they do their labor precisely according to a manual invented by a committee…

Companies that race to the bottom in terms of the skill or cost of their labor end up with nothing but low margins. The few companies that are able to race to the top, that can challenge workers to bring their whole selves—their human selves—to work, on the other hand, can earn stability and growth and margins. Improvisation still matters if you set out to solve interesting problems.

The future of labor isn’t in less education, less OSHA and more power to the boss. The future of labor belongs to enlightened, passionate people on both sides of the plant, people who want to do work that matters.”

There is more, of course, so be sure to click the link.

Great stuff Seth.

Something to ponder over a beer on another weekend away from the office…

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