The Macalope: Alchemy


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Boy, it sure wasn’t that hard to pick a piece to tackle today. Without even having seen Apple’s quarterly results, Dave Logan was there to tell us:

“Why Apple is a dead company walking” (tip o’ the antlers to Rajesh).

There is no greater fan of Apple (AAPL) than I.

Uh, pretty sure your headline says otherwise.

Like so many other pundits, Logan feels the need to lay down his mad Apple street cred. Look, we’re not here to talk about how you used an Apple II with a cassette interface. We’re here to talk about this modern day snake oil you’re trying to sell.

Yes, like the alchemists of yore, Logan’s got a new theory on how to figure out if a company’s going to make it. Turns out it’s simple!

This analysis is based on a technique called “word mapping,” in which a leader’s words, in connection to other words, reveal their worldview and their bias for action.

BOOM. Take that, Tim Cook. Your words betray you. See, Cook uses words from Mars while Steve Jobs used words from Venus. Or vice versa. He’s not exactly clear on that.

In other words, Logan’s found a new way to say “Tim Cook isn’t Steve Jobs.” Thanks, dude. Like no one else noticed that.

Critics of this analysis …

… also don’t believe that Tarot cards, Ouija boards, and bone-tossing can accurately predict things!

… may point to others at Apple who are more innovative, like design chief Jonathan Ive. It’s possible that a tribe (a group of 20-150 people) somewhere in the company is doing Jobs-like work.

Oh, it’s possible some small enclave of innovation exists in Apple that, like a Japanese soldier on a remote island, hasn’t yet heard Tim Cook’s words, which show that the war is over.

Pretty sure Jony Ive has more than 150 people under him. As does Big Bob Mansfield.

Apple appears to have a few years of its magic left.

Read: I’m gonna lay down a just long enough horizon on this ridiculous proposition that by the time the due date rolls around you’ll forget I ever mentioned it.

But the days when Apple would imagine the unimagined, led by its core values, and bridge the worlds of technology and aesthetics by doing what no one had ever thought of before—that’s the Apple of the past.

Because these goat entrails don’t lie.

[Dave Logan] is also Senior Partner of CultureSync, a management consulting firm, which he co-founded in 1997.

He’s a management consultant?

No. Way.

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