A wise entrepreneur will always be open to customer feedback and criticism to learn what consumers really want, but a genius entrepreneur gives consumers a product they don’t even know they want yet.
That was Apple’s train of thought, or rather, the thought of their prodigious CEO at the time. In an article on Bloomberg Businessweek from 2001, Apple was criticized for trying to disrupt the computer market by only offering sleek, new, and expensive computers in then proposed “Apple stores.” They all thought consumers wouldn’t bite on computers more powerful than people needed and more expensive than PCs.
Lets go back to May of 2001, when an entrepreneur that everyone seemingly loved to hate named Steven Paul Jobs announced he was going to open new stores to sell Macs called Apple stores; Mac computers were being sold by little retailers here and there and had a puny market share.
Jobs had a visionary plan to expand Apple Computer that not many people embraced, and many even predicted Apple’s imminent failure.
According to the article:
“The way Jobs sees it, the stores look to be a sure thing. But even if they attain a measure of success, few outsiders think new stores, no matter how well-conceived, will get Apple back on the hot-growth path.”
According to Lawrence N. Mondry, then COO of CompUSA:
“When you choose to compete with your retailers, clearly that’s not a comfortable situation.”
According to former Apple CFO Joseph Graziano:
“Apple’s problem is it still believes the way to grow is serving caviar in a world that seems pretty content with cheese and crackers.”
According to David A. Goldstein, then President of researcher Channel Marketing Corp.:
“I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake.”
Well CompUSA died off in 2012, we now know Graziano was dead wrong, and Apple stores provide an insane level customer service today. Of course later that year in October, Apple released the first generation of iPods and Steve Jobs began his campaign to revolutionize the tech world until his untimely passing. The success of the Apple store even inspired Microsoft to eventually open up their own shops in 2009.
Steve Jobs’ push to grow his company when everyone told him he would fail never stopped him. If you know your plans will succeed and you stick to your guns, no one can ever stop you no matter how much they hate.