It's 1984 all over again as Apple CEO removes the word "limit" from the corporate dictionary
Take for example the latest pronouncement from Tim Cook of Apple. OK, he lives and has his corporate being under the long, dark shadow of the sainted Steve Jobs and is never likely to be able to escape from it, but was it really necessary for him publicly to proclaim such footling, pootling nonsense as that the word "limit" does not exist in his or his company's vocabulary?
We'll skirt around the semantics and ignore the fact that simply by mentioning the word 'limit' the CEO indicated that it is indeed part of his vocabulary even whilst he denied it, and instead take a look at what he is trying to tell the world by making such a pronouncement.
It is actually straightforward and classical denial. Apple's share price has fallen and is unlikely ever again to attain the heady heights it achieved last year. That is Fact Number 1. It doesn't mean that Apple is about to collapse, it doesn't mean the sky is falling, it simply means that life moves on and nothing lasts but things are still pretty damned good, thank you very much.
However, Mr. Cook, no doubt prompted and pressed by his executive team, felt is necessary in his response to market changes to so over-egg the pudding that it became a stodgy and unpalatable mess.
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, Mr. Cook was asked if Apple is reaching a point in its history where it has reached a "natural" limit in the growth of iPhone sales.
His response, rather than a considered reply stating that a slowdown in sales is inevitable because of market saturation and competition but that Apple has strategies in place to minimise any impact was to blurt out that “limit” is not a word in Apple’s vocabulary. That sort of knee-jerk answer is both foolish and irresponsible.
Apple is a remarkable company that continues to innovate and make stylish (and expensive) products that people love and which have changed the world - however, it is still a corporation run by ordinary mortals, not gods in human form, and as such it is subject to the same laws of commerce and economics that apply to any other company anywhere else on the planet.
It may be, as Mr. Cook so loudly proclaims, that Apple's "culture of innovation has never been stronger" and that it is "in the corporate DNA" but Apple doesn't exist in a vacuum and taken as stand-alone comments the statements come across as sound-bite bombast. And that's what gives people the pip.