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Apple doesn't have the right organizational structure to support cloud services across apps to a level of consistency and quality that Google and Amazon does. Nathan Taylor explains this quite well.


Speaking as a former resident deep in Cue's org, I believe this is common knowledge internally, but there isn't alignment on how to address it. Even at the IC level, most people I spoke with are aware of Apple's shortcomings in services. Services are not the favored child at Apple. iOS and hardware are, because of revenue. Services ICs know that, and it hits morale directly; I saw (and felt) this. There are attempts to fix it, too, but those manifest as reorganizations. I was subjected to four in a year and a half.

You hear pains from teams like Maps, who were moved from iOS to services during my tenure, and who immediately ran into serious organizational problems, dried up budgets, and so on. The gettin' is good in iOSville, and once you leave iOS, it's a whole 'nother Apple. There's a common story about the origin of Maps at Apple where Maps was basically given a blank check, and they're still mopping up some of that excess to this day. That doesn't happen in services.

Meanwhile, organizationally, Siri is kind of outside the typical services structure for various legacy reasons and they're off iterating like all getout and having a blast without the encumberance of the services organization. Every time I met with Siri I always came away with questions like, in this organizational climate, how on earth are they getting so much done?

Apple needs a serious Microsoftism on services. If you would have told me five years ago that Microsoft under Nadella would completely reverse course and embrace the living hell out of services while Apple meandered in the "let's buy companies to implement our services strategy" grasslands, I'd have said the opposite is more likely, yet here we are.

"dried up budgets" is a phrase I never would have thought would be applicable to anything Apple Corp related.

It seems like the organization has developed a culture where the closer you are to the pipe that has the money flying in, the more rewarded you are. Because services that support each other are difficult to measure in these terms, they get treated as something less than the others that are. It's a blind spot where they are vulnerable.

Seriously, how can any teams inside apple have dried up budgets? It does not make sense to me when i see their profits!?

Companies that hardly give out cash have the most cash :)

It's not like it was good before Cue either (see MobileMe) - as you said it's the general culture of Apple as a whole.

Not sure how that gets fixed.

I think this is true, but Microsoft has their own issues. OneDrive for Business will do similar things with the garbage sync client.

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