February 11th, 2013
In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.
Apple. You have over $100 billion in cash on hand. You’re making around $20 billion in profit per quarter. You have some if not the most talented design and engineering staff the world has ever known, a supply chain that money can’t even buy, and a beloved brand that people wait in the freezing cold to pay money for. Do not make a watch.
Even if the watch is cool… and I believe it will be. Even if the glass of the watch can literally mold to my skin and be utterly transparent in ways I could never imagine… and I believe you could do that. Even if the watch can use Siri and Maps and allow me to check-in on Foursquare… and I believe it could. That still isn’t enough to justify your time and attention.
With the resources you have you could build a small village on Mars. You could tackle the TV industry and turn it on its head the way you did music just a short decade or so ago. You could disrupt the way modern-day computing happens yet again by offering relatively inexpensive laptops with retina displays that are always connected to the web, for free, anywhere I go. Or, create an even better iPad that begins to rival the computational power of a desktop computer.
Any one of these efforts would be considered an amazing feat but truly worthy of being tackled by a company with your resources. Choose to do something amazing with your resources. Even if you make the best watch the world has ever seen… and I believe you could… you shouldn’t.