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View Diary: Owners of the world, unite (271 comments)

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  •  this is a good point---- (4+ / 0-)
    And this underlines the problem you state and which China faces; that the world is already crowded with multinational corporations with established brands and controlling market access, so the the barriers to crashing that gate are nearly unsurmountable.

    But there is a way around that barrier--and it is the preferred method of corporations everywhere. Cooperation replaces competition. If a big corporation dominates a market that you want to get into, the best thing to do is partner yourself with that corporation.  That is why, over the past 15 years, there has been an explosion of cross-border mergers, joint ventures, cross-ownership, etc etc etc.  In most industries it is no longer possible to draw boundaries between corporations--they are international entities in their own roght who answer to no government. The very idea of a "Japanese corporation" or a "German corporation" or an "American corporation", is outdated and outmoded. They are global.

    The boundaries are being surmounted by removing them. And that of course is the essence behind WTO---to make every market everywhere accessible to every corporation without anyone having a privileged position. The corporate definition of "democracy".

    •  Example from Russia: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      the Chevy Niva.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:18:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I always found it ironic that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, raster44, koNko

        back during the big protectionist wars in the 80's, the Japanese and American car companies both owned big chunks of each other.

        •  I was similarly struck by (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          the various luxury brands owned by Ford. I guess they still own Jaguar, don't they. I remember reading several years ago that Jaguar owner's clubs were starting to miss the good old days when they could sit around and complain about the unreliability of their cars (remember Click and Clack's phrase, "Lucas, Prince of Darkness"?). Sounds like they are more reliable these days, but now they're V-8's instead of inline 6's, and they are starting to look different, too. Not quite like a 90's Taurus, but different.

          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

          by billmosby on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ford sold Jaguar to Tata (India). (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby

            Which also own Land Rover.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun May 22, 2011 at 08:36:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  one needs a scorecard nowadays (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              It's hard to keep track of who owns what this week.

            •  Thanks for the update! (0+ / 0-)

              Eventually, Apple will probably own it along with everything else, lol. Well, except for Skype, that is.

              Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

              by billmosby on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:06:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL .... Goggle+Microsoft+Skype+Nokia? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billmosby

                Desperation time in Redmond, methinks.

                But something interesting is happening to Apple. It's success has been based on excellent product and software design mainly using technology developed by others. Now I think Apple faces a pending crisis with a narrowing of it's market as the use of PCs decline and it's response has been to (a) become a retailer and (b) take more hardware design internal, becoming a more vertical company.

                The later presents Apple a significant challange since it's management culture is not really well suited to the business which requires greater disapline in design and technology development, strategic technology licensing that would canablize some of it's existing suppliers, and enough volume to turn a profit.

                In other words, what happens when the commoditization of Smartphones and Tablets errodes the premium Apple products currently demand?

                I suppose their strategy is, ultimately, to use devices as loss leaders to sell content and advestising, but that is ultimately a monopitalistic model markets reject and could hurt them just as Microsoft's monopoly of desktops ultimately bit them in the ass.

                That said, Apple has a big pile of cash at this point so is in a good position to just about whatever Jobs likes, the question is what comes after Jobs.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue May 24, 2011 at 03:54:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good points, except that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  koNko

                  their pricing on iPhones and iPads is not at all out of line; in fact, isn't the iPad cheaper than many alternatives?

                  The only thing I worry about is that Macs may be displaced by iPads to such an extent that they become a more expensive, niche product. Well, that and the CEO succession problem, of course.

                  No company fires on all 8 cylinders (well, 4 1/2 if you're Microsoft, lol) forever, Apple has already had a good run. I think it will outlive me, though (I'm 62).

                  Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                  by billmosby on Tue May 24, 2011 at 07:16:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Tablets errode PCs but don't replace them (0+ / 0-)

                    For internet or media consumption tablets are great but not really a replacement for apps requiring a keyboard, mouse and greater storage.

                    I think that means an eventual errosion of PC market share and less choice (fewer OEMs, fewer models), and the opposite for tablets and handhelds which should find more users than PCs.

                    But overall, prices come down over time as technology is commoditized and competition increases.

                    In tablets it's a matter of time until Apple faces serious competition, most likely from the same players that compete with iPhone such as Samsung, hTC et al.

                    So what I see is Apple and Microsoft trying to compete with Goggle and Social Networking sites for advertising and media related business.

                    Handhelds are cheap because they are subsidized by phone companies who make it back in service fees. The handset OEMs have to make a profit from sales to the service providers.

                    Apple has resisted commoditization by exclusivity, but the wall is cracking because to increase volume and sell in some markets were users normally have multiple accounts used in one phone or jailbreak locked phones, they have to sell to consumers on the open market. Potentially it means they can charge a higher premium for a new model but price errosion gets beyond control since there is no monopoly involved.

                    Assuming that as a long-term growth model for Apple, I would expect them to eventualy compete by getting more revenue from selling software and and media tied to their software O/S (already is that way) and increase revenue from advertising (both Apple and Microsoft are trying to compete with Goggle which has nore than 60% market share in net ad revenues).

                    Under such conditions, Apple face the prospects of having to use the hardware as a loss leader just as Sony, Nintendo, MS, et al do in Gaming Platforms (which are sold at a substantial loss as hardware).

                    Goggle and Microsoft are already pure-play software companies and let others worry about the hardware. Apple has certian franchise because the sum of parts is attractive to a certian affluant segment of the market, but just as iPhone has lost share to Android, I would expect iPad to face increasing competition.

                    I predict the novelty of a insanely great rectangular display with round corners will not last forever, could be why Jobs is so pissed at Samsung these days (but they are Apple's Flash Memory supplier).

                    And what is the next big thing?

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Tue May 24, 2011 at 10:15:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Apple is doomed, doomed! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      koNko

                      Really, I have my doubts that it will long survive Jobs. And even if it does, it has always been more of a niche company than a company which desires to compete in all spaces. So says Jobs himself. I count myself blessed that its rise and....possible fall coincides with my own. I was about 28 when Apple surfaced (I bought an Apple II in about 1980, and my first Mac 4 years after that), am 62 now, and probably don't really even need to buy one more Mac- the 3 year old one I have will probably see me though to the end, if the longevity of ones I have owned before are any indication. But I'll probably get another one any year now anyway.

                      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                      by billmosby on Tue May 24, 2011 at 10:56:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Doomed? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        billmosby

                        Hardly, but it will be interesting to see how they evolve in the next few years particularly when Jobs retires.

                        Will his plan to clone himself work?

                        What about my Daughter's future?

                        by koNko on Wed May 25, 2011 at 04:59:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I was trying to be funny. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          koNko

                          The phrase was attributed to a tech columnist about 15 years ago; can't remember his name at the moment, although he still writes on tech quite a bit. I do remember the false quote, though. Sometimes a "bwahahahah..." is attached to it.

                          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                          by billmosby on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:59:07 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  This may interest you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            billmosby

                            I read an interesting profile of Apple in Fortune this month that gives an indider's view of how they operate, which pretty much reflects my own experience working with them but also explained a lot.

                            Unfortuately the full article is only available on the newstand or from Amazon, but these to links have some teasers:

                            Gizmodo: Fortune's "Insie Apple"

                            CNN: How Apple works: Inside the world's biggest startup

                            Like any sucessful ompany they have some strong and weak points but it does underline (but not answer) the question of how Apple would change without Jobs at the center of the universe.

                            My other question is how changes in the industry and communiations will change Apple.

                            What about my Daughter's future?

                            by koNko on Thu May 26, 2011 at 11:13:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

                            I had seen excerpts from the Fortune article a few days ago somewhere or other, probably on Google news.

                            Accountability is a wonderful thing. I've worked in places that had it, and places that didn't. I always felt more useful in places that had it. I never rose to the levels where reasons didn't matter, though.

                            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                            by billmosby on Fri May 27, 2011 at 05:16:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Sure, aggreed. (0+ / 0-)

      Actually, I work for a Japanese MNC in China and it is an imperative for the company to expand globally because the domestic (Japanese) market has been in decline for years.

      There are positive and negative aspects to this, the biggest negative being tax evasion (in my viewpoint).

      International law needs to be strengthened.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun May 22, 2011 at 08:35:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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