Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

Champions League, Olympique Marseille – Manchester United 0-0

>Manchester United made the trip to Marseille without a few important players. In defense the young Smalling had to take position for the injured Ferdinand and Evans. Not in the starting line up also, Giggs, Park, Rafael or Scholes. The first half didn’t bring a lot of excitement. While in the opening 10 minutes it looked like there will be a game, the rest of the second half was more or less pushing the ball back and forth. The goalies, with minimal exceptions, didn’t really need their hands for 35 minutes.

The second half showed significantly more action than the first and Marseille took control of the game. While more possession and mainly in United’s half, more than a mild “harassment” couldn’t be achieved. Sir Alex reacted after 72 min and sent Paul Scholes for Gibson, who couldn’t be found for 70 minutes. That, and a change in system gave United control back, which they kept until the last three minutes. Marseille tried one more time, but couldn’t force a result change.

With a good result as a goal, for United, the game served the purpose.  For Marseille, the Champions League dream seems to be over. The game in Manchester should not cause the English major problems, if they keep their form and don’t slide into a major crisis within the next three weeks.

Apple and succession – Or, the Apple World after Steve Jobs

>A lot of talk currently about Apple and Steve Jobs. Rather than talking about the good news, investors, analysts and everyone else seems to focus on Jobs’ health and Apple’s succession plans. Some institutional investors turn up the heat and demand a detailed plan for the time after Jobs.

One can look at this from different views. If you are a pessimistic nature and your tendency is to boil down all success to one person, you will probably have sleepless nights over Steve Jobs’ illness and Apple’s future. You will demand a succession plan. If that will help you to get more sleep remains questionable. One can also focus on a more detailed view and give the company’s past handling of this kind of scenario a little more credit and focus on a few other upcoming things. With the second view, one can avoid dealing with trouble twice.

There are a lot of smart people at work at Apple. If you want to credit Steve Jobs alone for the successes of the past years, you are on the wrong boat, clearly. Sure, if you want to create a hype and earn some credits on the expense of Apple,  than this is a good chance to do so. How else can you do it in Apple’s case? The company is running smoothly and successful. The products have been absolute crackers and are, still, considered “must-haves”. With looking at the upcoming challenges for the products, you can’t make a name for yourself. Focusing concerns on one person of the caliber of Steve Jobs on the other hand, that creates more attention.

I can’t help myself, I just can’t believe that Apple hasn’t taken a look at the future. It is not that Jobs just got sick, serious issues are around for years. Honestly, would you believe that they haven’t given that scenario a serious look? Come on!

So, what would a published succession plan do for everyone? It would spit out a few names and the entire world would jump on it and would either be delighted, or would focus on a campaign to discredit possible candidates. Such incredible nonsense would shift the company’s focus from core business to fighting and justifying every move they make. It would just open an unnecessary battle field. There are other major things cooking that need attention.

Take a look at the competition. Everyone and their grandma is coming up with a tablet, or in some cases more then one. The smart phone market is crowded like no other. iTunes, like the Apple phones and tablets, experience a different infrastructure in the field of competition. For Apple, there is no time to open up another window of concern. These are valid issues and those should be treated as such.  With all due respect, who knows on whether Steve Jobs would be the man to solve all these topics or not? Besides of inventing new products, it is now the time to compete and defend terrain, rather than selling a product no one else has. A new game has developed. Focus!