Oh and by the way, it's not my own out-of-the-box thinking, but that of Apple Inc's.
So, there are several companies and individuals that have inspired me to become the divergent thinker (as I like to describe myself) I am today: The likes of Google, General Electric, Sir Ammon Johns, and Apple Incorporated, to name a few. And in this article, I hope to share my thoughts with you about what i believe were Apple's reasons for their recent move to purchase Beats By Dre, and the interest they showed not too long ago, in Tesla Motors.
Again I repeat, these are just my thoughts - which largely came from my enthusiast's knowledge of the ZMOT and of blue ocean strategies, of the future of technology, and of big data.
WHAT IS A MOBILE DEVICE?These days, most people hear the term "mobile device" and immediately form mental pictures of society's "conventional" mobile devices, such as their Nokia smartphones, HTCs, Blackberrys, Galaxy Tablets and iPads.
However, only a few people actually see mobile devices from the TRUE perspective of what they are:
"a device that is often on the move".
A mobile device is a piece of technology that can carry a chip in it. And often times, it can house a communications radio as well.
But what makes it "mobile" is the fact that it gets around, whether it moves around remotely (like a drone) or whether it is carried around by a person (like a phone).
So anyway, as we begin to think about mobile devices from this perspective, we can then to our conventional smartphones and tablets, things like eyewear, wristwatches, and maybe even belt-buckle devices, which could easily become mainstream mobile devices very soon.
But there are two incredible mobile devices that are already here, and yet many people aren't really paying attention to them:
headphones and, yes, even CARS.
APPLE LAY SIEGE ON THE FUTURESo when I hear folks say they wonder why Apple spent "so much money on a headphones manufacturing company", I can't help but laugh.
Because I know that Apple didn't pay $3 billion for a stake in the typical headphones market!
C'mon, are you nuts?!
No, they paid $3 billion to buy a hot new platform.
They paid that money for two things:
1) A Music Streaming service that could eventually beat Spotify,
AND 2) a strategic "mobile device" platform.
When you look at it that way, then $3 billion may end up being a huge bargain for Apple. Music streaming is going to be a big market. But mobile devices often worn as a fashion statement? With high quality sound and Bluetooth connectivity to other devices? Now that could be much bigger!
Beats by Dre and its other brands (Pill by Nicki Minaj and Heartbeats by Lady Gaga) presents a platform that could be very hot for the elusive gen C market.
In other words, a platform that is very promising for the future!
So Apple seems to have purchased a potentially large chunk in the FUTURE of information gathering.
It was a strategic move, and one that has Big data written all over it.
If you had been paying attention, you would have heard many of the experts in the marketing world describe the future as the era of "the mobile of everything". The era of big data.
Mobile connectivity is in not just Androids and iPads; It is in clouds. It is in headphones. It is in cars. It is in eyewear. It is in wrist-worn devices; and God only knows where they'll put connectivity next.
But the silent reason behind all of this continuous connectivity is data.
The access to data. Marketing data. Big data.
And for clarification, big data is all about the Velocity of the data, the Volume of the data, and most important to this article, the Variety of the data.
Oh by the way, I am not here to start, or continue the debate on data & privacy. I just thought I should mention that.
I can tell you that Apple were thinking waaay outside of the box in order to see that opportunity and make that move. And that's why they paid more than $3billion for Beats by Dre, and prior to that, they were ready to stun the world by making a humongous bid to purchase Tesla Motors; another company that manufactured a more remarkable "mobile device".
Now although Tesla rejected the Apple bid at the time, Telsa boss Elon Musk, has not completely ruled out ever selling to Apple at some future date.
MY BLUE OCEAN HYPOTHESISYou have to appreciate Apple's big-picture strategy here:
Not everyone uses iPhones. More people around the world use Android phones and other platforms. Yet, you could easily find an Android or Windows Phone user who listens to his smartphone's music playlist through headphones from Beats by Dre.
You can also bet that Apple were banking on Tesla's future of becoming not just a super successful mass market car manufacturer, but also a popular connecting hub for all kinds of other data carrying devices.
Both of these platforms (Tesla and Beats By Dre) are also evidently successful Blue Ocean Strategies. I have a theory that Apple itself (being one of W.Chan Kim's frequently used examples of a business with a blue ocean strategy) may have originally been drawn to Tesla and Beats for the very reason that their strategy bears kind of a resemblance with theirs.
I would love to talk about BOS (Blue Ocean Strategy) on a future date. But here is some introductory reading material here.