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Dumb Device/Rich Cloud: Talent Philosophy in Apple Vs. Google Product Terms...

I saw this on the web recently and thought it had a lot of application beyond the way Apple and Google ideate and develop products:

"I’ve said before that Apple’s approach is about a dumb cloud enabling rich apps while Google’s is about dumb devices are endpoints of cloud services. That’s going to lead to rather different experiences, and to ever more complex discussions within companies as to what sort of features they create across the two platforms and where they place their priorities. It also changes somewhat the character of the narrative that the generic shift of computing from local devices to the cloud is a structural problem for Apple, since what we mean, exactly, when we say ‘cloud’ on smartphones needs to be unpicked rather more."

So, there's a lot there, but it basically means that Apple envisions great products and a dumb cloud, and Google dreams about dumb/basic products and smart cloud.

For me, I automatically thought about how we acquire talent, and in a competitive marketplace having a strategy about how you view the world.

Think about it this way - the device is the employee, and the cloud is your philosophy on developing that employee - what's available for them to plug into to make them better once they join you.

From a talent perspective, if you buy experienced, top dollar talent and don't have to train, you're more like Apple.  If your strategy is to buy early career talent that's not as developed, but you're committed to plugging them into development resources, you're more like Google.

Both approaches can be killer.  The biggest mistake you can make is to not have a philosophy.  

Comments

Anne

Question. If you take Apple's approach and you terminate an employee that ends up not having the talent needed for the role, are you at risk for wrongful termination due to not providing sufficient support?

KD

Hi Anne -

Good question. I think the Apple/Google product references I tried to make in relationship with talent go something like this - if you buy experienced, top dollar talent and don't have to train, you're more like Apple. That being said, that means to me that if you pay top dollar it's OK to expect results - in an at will environment you wouldn't be liable for not providing training. Of course, you'd want to support them with the tools needed to do the job - if you didn't do that, it wouldn't make sense to invest - but support via training isn't really necessary or expected in that circumstance.

KD

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