Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does Apple Synthesize Supply and Demand?

Who can avoid the inevitable lines outside the Apple store when they release a new product? It has been well established that if Steve Jobs had his hands on a product, the world wants it. Consequently, when my Dad and my brother woke up at 6 am to buy our Ipad 2 the day after it came out, I wondered why avid lovers of Apple products have a difficult time obtaining the latest gadgets. I realized the power of Supply and Demand. The idea of Supply and Demand indicates the relationship between the amount of product available and the number of people willing to pay for that product. These two factors, as a result, affect the actual price of the product. I started considering the reasons that Apple, an established company and without a doubt household name, would not have enough of a product to stock on shelves when there was a recent release. Was it that the approval process was too lengthy and Apple wants to start sales or is it, perhaps, does Apple wants to exude an air of exclusivity? There are many possibilities, but my theory is that Apple wants create a sense of adventure in obtaining a new product. Maybe, if a company releases an abundance of the new products, a sense of excitement and “buzz” goes away.

Regardless of the reason, I continue to love Apple as a company, and I will undoubtedly continue to be a face in the “day after release” new product line crowd.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

What is company culture?

As discussed in one of my earlier blog posts, I spent a portion of my summer at Stanford University at a program called EPGY- studying Topics in business. As part of our field experience business field trips, my professor, Mr. Edwin Oh (a man I would consider myself extremely privileged to have worked with so closely this summer), took us to a variety of companies in Silicon Valley, and perhaps one of the most powerful things that stood out when I considered a company was the company culture. Company culture can be determined by many things- among which are the values and the behavior of the individuals which compose the company. The company energy has the potential to serve as a powerful asset- it can bring the company together and create a friendlier environment, or can serve as an disadvantage when not established properly. I would even argue that when establishing a company, or creating a start-up environment, company culture can really determine how successful (or unsuccessful) the company becomes. Even on a personal level, having an unresourceful work environment can be highly destructive, so magnifying that to a company can be even more terrible. Luckily- I had the opportunity to observe some empowering environments. For example, when visiting “Tapulous” headquarters, I noticed a sense of teamwork, and when there were employees playing with Nerf guns during their free time, I realized how much time Tapulous must have taken to establish their unique company culture. With the bright colored plastered over walls and games all over (refer back to Summer Visit to a Silicon Valley Dream Factory), a naïve visitor may mistake this atmosphere with an ineffective work environment, but the designers have the workspace down to a science. They realize that THEIR employees may be most efficient and happy in doing their work if they have a comfortable and welcoming environment. Contrary to this, we visited a very different start-up company in which the walls were white, cubicles were assigned to employees and there was a more formal attire. This company was easily as effective. In their own ways, they both established a good company culture, because they both factored in important things- such as employee efficiency and the product/brand they’re executing. I bet if you put the "cubicle employees" in Tapulous or Tapulous employees in the cubicles, the effect would be extremely different.

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