Apple Stumbles, And Why Should We Care?

It’s no secret that I am an Apple fan. I love everything they make, not just because they make stuff, but they make stuff that works and also creates a cool vibe in the process.

So I was a little saddened when Apple stumbled in their release of the 3G iPhone. On that day, I tried to update my iPhone with the new 2.0 software and it was less than a favorable experience. The newscasts, the newspapers, and blogs carried reports of the difficulty people had of upgrading and even buying their phones. The assessment was that Apple stumbled and botched a great opportunity.

As I thought about this, I think there is a lesson to be learned. Why did the release of the 3G iPhone go less than expected? There may be other reasons, but the ones that stand out to me are that it was twice the demand that was expected, and the system they had created just simply couldn’t handle the overload.

For all the whining and moaning we do about the economy these days and how business is down, could you even handle business if on a single day it doubled? You had double the customers, double the attendance at your church, double the tithers, double the new Christians; do you have systems that could even begin to handle that load? The answer is probably “no.”

So what can we learn form Apple’s stumble? Make sure you have growth capacity in your organization, in your church, in your life. Do you have the systems and the processes in place right now by which you could sustain growth if it happened? Or would the customers, or the people, or the demand come and go away simply because you couldn’t handle it, and people had such a bad experience they moved on to someone else?

It’s one thing to stand back and criticize Apple. But if you look at the double demand for the 3G that there was for the original iPhone, they did pretty well. How many of us could have done as well or better?

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