One of the great CEO quotes of all time says in a sentence what drives Apple. And what drives Steve.
Read between the lines in today's press event and you'll see a man - and a company - trying hard to do what's right:
"...we care about EVERY user. And we’re not going to stop until every one is happy."
"We are going to take care of everyone. We want every user to be happy — and if we can’t make ‘em happy, we’ll give them a full refund.”
"We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight* them."
"So we do all this because we love our users. And when we fall short — which we do sometimes — we try harder. We pick ourselves up, we figure out what’s wrong, and we try harder. And when we succeed, they reward us by staying our users, and that makes it all worth it.”
"When we have problems like this and people criticize us, we take it really personally. Maybe we should have a wall of PR people to insulate us, but we don’t — when our users have a problem, we have a problem.”
"There are some things we know that we did learn here. One thing is how much we love our customers and how we are going to take care of them. We were stunned and upset and embarrassed by the Consumer Reports stuff, and the reason we didn’t say more is because we didn’t know enough."
Running a business is a tough balancing act between the needs of customers, employees, investors and partners. This isn't about Apple's marketing - its about what's right. So let's give credit where credit is due. In the face of the worst economic environment in modern times, Apple has followed a formula key to their success - which starts with taking care of customers - other companies would be wise to copy. I know it's the focus of my day job.
P.S. "Surprise and Delight" is one of the 5 secrets of Apple marketing you'll find in my free eBook.
Kudos to Apple for following (most) of the suggestions from my earlier post and thanks to gdgt.com for the liveblogging transcript.