From my point of view it's hard not to see that Sun's competitors have made bold strategic moves recently. Oracle acquired Siebel, Microsoft re-org'ed, and Google launched new to the world products. For its part the real Apple made a bet on Intel. While its yet to be seen if these are winning bets. I'm struggling to understand what Sun's bold strategy is other than incrementalism.
Here is a handy checklist for companies working hard to be the next Apple:
- Have an product innovation strategy that invests in "new to the world" products and services;
- Kill all copycat product efforts;
- Allocate resources and people for "new to the world" projects;
- Gain and maintain a deep understanding of the needs of your customer/market.;
- Differentiate from your competitors by creating unique value for your customers;
- Open up two way real time dialog with your market;
- Communicate directly and in real time with your employees for new product ideas;
- Stay entrepreneurial by taking risks and foster risk taking by employees;
- Limit project teams to100 people;
- Always, always, always keep it fun.
It's been my experience that companies that follow rapidly become leaders in their field.