Apple's Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi discuss failures and resultant victories

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Extending an interview series about the past, present and future of Apple, senior vice presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi talk about the company's initial failures, a harsh media spotlight, and how it shapes what consumers end up with.




Speaking with Fast Company, the executives were immediately questioned about Apple's philosophy in developing maps, and how early public criticism sanded off the rough edges. "The first thing to know about Maps is there's no one developing maps in a significant way except us and Google," said Cue. "The whole thing is extremely dynamic, which makes it an interesting problem."

Apple's Maps endured a great deal of criticism on its way to the current version. While maps in California and major cities were often populated with accurate information, other areas suffered from unreliable directions, and data too old to be of any value to a driver.

Apple's approach to Maps data is not just generated by drivers on the street. Apple looks at app analytics, to determine new features' locations, like a golf course, new restaurants, and new businesses. Once a new location is suspected, the company does further research with satellite imagery or internet searching, with a drive-by being a "worst-case scenario" for verification, according to Cue.

"Another thing about Maps: It's expensive," added Cue. "it's building the architectures, doing the automation, the intelligence, the amount of data we're capturing. It's very, very expensive, and it doesn't have a direct revenue stream."

Federighi emphasized the point that Maps is a huge data integration issue. In regards to Apple's initial failure to deliver a quality project, he said that the company vastly underestimated what the company would need to make a high-quality product.

"You're getting data from a lot of providers, and some of that data is, or should be, changing every day." said Federighi. "Going through that lesson in a very public way gave us all the motivation we needed to say we're going to do this really well."




Cue doesn't believe that there are any more issues generated by Apple's hardware and software development process than there were in the past, saying that the company has data to prove it. The analysis and presentation of issues appears to be more of an issue with the volume of more customers impacted by flaws, according to Cue.

"When we were the Mac company, if we impacted one percent of our customers, it was measured in thousands," said Cue "now if we impact one percent of our customers, it's measured in tens of millions."

Both Federighi and Cue claim in the interview that they would rather have customers that care about the quality of the experiences, rather than apathetic users.




The executives also believe that at its core, Apple is still the same innovative company that it has always been even with the untimely death of CEO and founder Steve Jobs. Current and future successes of both the iOS ecosystem and the macOS rely on developments made for other projects, believe the pair, and technology by its nature is improved upon, far more than it is generated from whole cloth to blow open a new market.

"I think the rest of the world thinks we delivered it every year while Steve was here," said Cue. "People say the Watch isn't a breakthrough product. Well, neither was the iPhone, by the way. And neither was the iPod."

While Apple has attempted social networking venues, it appears that it will be pulling back from that in the future. "We aren't the Everything Company," said Federighi. "We take on a very small number of things that we do very well, and we find that pretty rewarding."

Both men look back at more difficult times at the pre-iPod Apple, and think that the experience shaped their view of Apple going forward in a positive way. "I think it's significant that upper management has lived through periods of austerity and appreciates that this hasn't been a straight ride up," said Federighi, capping the interview. "People who look at Apple's success and think we look at it as 'okay, great, we're done' don't appreciate what's really going on here."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    Fire Eddy Cue.  iTunes has become unwieldy.  iCloud is worst in breed.  And neither is getting better under Eddy's leadership.  Seriously, he's made his contribution, and he's been handsomely rewarded.  Now it's time for new blood to fix what he's demonstrated an ineptitude at fixing.  It's time to move on.  Otherwise, customers are going to move on.
    edited August 2016 rogifan_newlatifbpSpamSandwichrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,574member
    sog35 said:

    Apple really needs to buy more companies to shore up their weaknesess: Social and Cloud. Glad they have been buying some AI companies lately. If Apple is serious about customer privacy they need to have their own search engine. 90% of iOS users use Google/Facebook which is a shame.
    Biggest regrets regarding Apple acquisition possibilities were Twitter and Instagram. Tesla isn't an Apple culture fit so I can understand them not wanting in, but with Dorsey in charge first time round T and I would have been nice to have. Keeping Instagram an exclusive iPhone social network and having Twitter remain cross platform. But most of all getting them built into every iPhone with Apple's level of fit and finish and feature focus. With Apple's hardware clout both apps could remained far more focused.

    Netflix on the other hand is a trickier one. With an Apple acquisition early on I'm sure lots of content owners could have jumped ship to spite Apple and it would have been a PR disaster. It's easy in hindsight to argue Apple should have acquired Netflix but it doesn't take this factor into account much. The biggest things Netflix have going for itself now and low monthly cost, lack or ads and in-house show funded production. Take Making A Murderer for example. Netflix, paid them but had little to none to do with the show otherwise and the outside perspective is it was a Netflix show as if they created the thing. Other shows I'm not so sure about.

    There's no perfect world and there's no perfect Apple. The Beats acquisition is a great example of Apple knowing better than a vocal tech-savvy minority. Apple Car may prove similar. When first rumoured it was they won't and they can't.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 3 of 32
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,529member

    This should agree those people about. Apple clearly said it and it apply to you all. You all complain and Apple like these kind of customers verses the one who do not care enough to complain. Next Apple is not going to do everything you think they should. They are smart enough to focus their energy. Those who keep saying they should do this or that or buy this or that need to rethink what they are saying. More companies killed themselves trying to get into something they do not understand.


    Both Federighi and Cue claim in the interview that they would rather have customers that care about the quality of the experiences, rather than apathetic users.

    "We aren't the Everything Company," said Federighi. "We take on a very small number of things that we do very well, and we find that pretty rewarding."

    nolamacguykevin keeasdasd
  • Reply 4 of 32
    red oakred oak Posts: 658member
    sog35 said:
    Maps lesson learned: Don't be afraid to buy other companies. And don't be so arrogant thinking you can develop everything in house.

    Apple really needs to buy more companies to shore up their weaknesess: Social and Cloud. Glad they have been buying some AI companies lately. If Apple is serious about customer privacy they need to have their own search engine. 90% of iOS users use Google/Facebook which is a shame.
    You really are lost in the woods 
    londorRayz2016nolamacguyfastasleepradarthekatbrucemckevin keenetmage
  • Reply 5 of 32
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,929member
    Fire Eddy Cue.  iTunes has become unwieldy.  iCloud is last in breed.  And neither is getting better under Eddy's leadership.  Seriously, he's made his contribution, and he's been handsomely rewarded.  Now it's time for new blood to fix what he's demonstrated an ineptitude at fixing.  It's time to move on.  Otherwise, customers are going to move on.
    Yep. And I didn't like Eddy's comment about Uber either. I don't remember Jobs or any other Apple executive saying something wouldn't exist were it not for Apple. If there's a service people want someone will make it happen. Craig Federighi seems like a really great guy and an engineers engineer. Eddy Cue sounds like someone who thinks his shit don't stink. Probably why he's perfectly fine showing up to a meeting with cable executives in jeans and tennis shoes with no socks.
    patchythepirateSpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 32
    dougddougd Posts: 238member
    i absolutely hate Apple Maps. Always use Google Maps
  • Reply 7 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,242member
    sog35 said:
    maestro64 said:

    This should agree those people about. Apple clearly said it and it apply to you all. You all complain and Apple like these kind of customers verses the one who do not care enough to complain. Next Apple is not going to do everything you think they should. They are smart enough to focus their energy. Those who keep saying they should do this or that or buy this or that need to rethink what they are saying. More companies killed themselves trying to get into something they do not understand.


    Both Federighi and Cue claim in the interview that they would rather have customers that care about the quality of the experiences, rather than apathetic users.

    "We aren't the Everything Company," said Federighi. "We take on a very small number of things that we do very well, and we find that pretty rewarding."

    Problem is most companies don't have $200 billion lying around doing nothing.

    Apple's weakness in Social, Cloud, and Search is really bad. They don't have to be giants like Yahoo or Twitter. Just buy smaller social platforms and run with it. For Search just buy DuckDuckGo and improve on it. For Cloud, I don't know. 

    Like it or not Apple has to be a conglomerate to grow for the next decade. 
    No it does not. Apple expanding into the Auto industry alone is plenty. Social Networking is mature. Apple working with mature Social Networking giants is being intelligent.
    nolamacguybrucemcjasenj1
  • Reply 8 of 32
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 220member
    dougd said:
    i absolutely hate Apple Maps. Always use Google Maps
    By always doing what you have always done do not expect to improve. I have several mapping apps as I like to compare, but if I had to use only one it would be Apple Maps.
    baconstangalbegarcnolamacguykevin keenetmage
  • Reply 9 of 32
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,929member
    sog35 said:
    " I think it’s awesome that Travis and his team have done Uber on our platform. It would not exist without our platform, let’s be clear." Eddy Cue


    This is 100% right.  Does Apple get any $ from Uber for people using the Uber App on iOS?  If not they should.

    Without iOS clients Uber would lose 75% of their sales.


    So should Apple get a cut of every transaction someone does on their phone? Every time I order a pizza using my iPhone a percentage of that sale should go to Apple? Really?
    radarthekatnetmagesingularity
  • Reply 10 of 32
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,142member
    sog35 said:
    No it does not. Apple expanding into the Auto industry alone is plenty. Social Networking is mature. Apple working with mature Social Networking giants is being intelligent.
    And what does Twitter, Facebook, ect pay to Apple? $0

    Twitter, Facebook, ect are making BILLIONS off of iOS users and Apple gets $0

    Its flatout ridiculous. Apple should be getting royalties on every single iOS user on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook, Instgram, Twitter, ect should all be paying Apple BILLIONS each.

    Its crazy that a small time developer needs to pay 30% to Apple while Twitter/Facebook makes BILLIONS and don't need to pay a cent.

    That is why Apple needs to get into Social.  When they have competing platforms with Twitter/Facebook they can charge royalties. Its only fair.  Facebook should be paying for the right to feed ads to iOS users.
    You can't have one without the other. If developers didn't invent the apps they create, Apple would not be making the billions they make selling hardware.
    mdriftmeyerdasanman69welshdognetmage
  • Reply 11 of 32
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,142member
    sog35 said:
    So should Apple get a cut of every transaction someone does on their phone? Every time I order a pizza using my iPhone a percentage of that sale should go to Apple? Really?
    Yes. That's where ApplePay comes in
    And what if I don't use Apple Pay? Don't need to use Apple Pay for the Starbucks App that I can order something straight from the app, pay for it from the app, and pick it up when it's ready. Same with Panera Bread. 
  • Reply 12 of 32
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,142member
    sog35 said:
    You can't have one without the other. If developers didn't invent the apps they create, Apple would not be making the billions they make selling hardware.
    Not anymore. Sure Apple needed the developers in the beginning but not anymore.

    Can Facebook survive without Apple? No
    Can Apple survive without Facebook? Yes
    Can Uber survive without Apple? No
    Can Apple survive without Uber? Yes
    Can Twitter survive without Apple? No
    Can Apple survive without Twitter? Yes

    Facebook, Uber, and Twitter would instantly lose 70% of their revenue if Apple cut them out of iOS.  Apple would lose very little and a competitor will quickly take its place like Lyft.  Apple has all the leverage. Its madness that game companies and other App makers need to pay Apple 30% while Twittter/Uber/Facebook pay $0.

    Apple should get a 2%-5% royalty from Facebook, Uber, Twitter, and Instagram on any ad revenue from iOS users.  Who blinks if Apple demands this? You seriously think Facebook would risk losing 70% of their revenue? And 5% royalty is nothing. Compare that to how much software makers had to pay brick and mortal stores and Microsoft to sell their products.
    Where the heck are you getting this 70% from? 
    netmage
  • Reply 13 of 32
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,142member
    sog35 said:
    Where the heck are you getting this 70% from? 
    pretty obvious.  Data usage in the US is about 70% iOS.

    Plus iOS users are richer, more educated, and in the more profitable demographics

    Free lunch for Twitter, Facebook, ect is over. They need to pay like everyone else.
    I'm pretty sure you're wrong on the 70% mark. Do a search and prove me wrong. I'll wait as I already did and everything I found was reversed. Android has more users for Facebook. 
  • Reply 14 of 32
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Fire Eddy Cue.  iTunes has become unwieldy.  iCloud is last in breed.  And neither is getting better under Eddy's leadership.  Seriously, he's made his contribution, and he's been handsomely rewarded.  Now it's time for new blood to fix what he's demonstrated an ineptitude at fixing.  It's time to move on.  Otherwise, customers are going to move on.
    Yep. And I didn't like Eddy's comment about Uber either. I don't remember Jobs or any other Apple executive saying something wouldn't exist were it not for Apple. If there's a service people want someone will make it happen. Craig Federighi seems like a really great guy and an engineers engineer. Eddy Cue sounds like someone who thinks his shit don't stink. Probably why he's perfectly fine showing up to a meeting with cable executives in jeans and tennis shoes with no socks.
    so how many times have you talked with the man, to form such an adamant opinion of his personality? because you do realize the on stage persona is a schtick, right?

    im gonna guess....zero. zero is the number of times you've talked or met with one of the most successful tech execs of the most successful tech firm in human history. 

    nice work forming that educated opinion! with talent like that, I'd bet you'd be awesome at channeling Steve Job's ghost, too. amirite?!
    edited August 2016 fastasleepnetmage
  • Reply 15 of 32
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    for god's sake, people, sog is a raving lunatic. put him on your kill list already and let us be rid of his inane, bipolar nonsense. 
    sirlance99radarthekatmdriftmeyerbrucemckevin keejasenj1realjustinlongnetmageiSalmanPakfastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 32
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,142member
    for god's sake, people, sog is a raving lunatic. put him on your kill list already and let us be rid of his inane, bipolar nonsense. 
    You're right, I got caught up in the entanglement. 
    radarthekatkevin keeiSalmanPak
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Having worked for Steven P. Jobs at NeXT and Apple I know something about our interdependency on 3rd party developers building the future and working synergistically with engineering. How to do it wrong was at NeXT. How to do it right is now at Apple.

    To proclaim Steven P. Jobs never discussed how important and valuable 3rd party developers are to Apple tells me you have no clue about how to build a corporation. Third Party Developers have been the life blood equally to that of Apple providing the foundation for them to take a platform and evolve it.

    They go hand-in-hand. Steve's second time around at Apple was handled very differently than at NeXT and especially at Apple the first time. He took much of what he learned in negotiations at PIXAR and applied those successful strategies at Apple 2.0.

    He was very conciliatory when building new partnerships; firm to them and demanded the same in return from them when Apple slipped up: a synergy was forged and has been that way ever since. To think Apple is to become Microsoft and gorge on 3rd party developers fruits of labor by demanding a kick back, when they already make billions for having a central point of presence is absurd on its face. The cost to Apple for all that infrastructure is peanuts to what they've ingested in profits from consumers on the AppStore, iBook store, etc.

    Do what you can the best that you can and nothing more. To be all things to all people is a sign of a house divided that will fall on its face for the sheer greed of it all.
    kevin keejasenj1loquiturfastasleeprealjustinlong
  • Reply 18 of 32
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 912member
    Do what you can the best that you can and nothing more. To be all things to all people is a sign of a house divided that will fall on its face for the sheer greed of it all.
    Agreed. Apple may not make any money directly from Facebook, Twitter, or a number of other very popular apps, but Apple makes money on selling the devices that runs those apps. Apple then makes money on other halo services - iTunes, paid app sales, iCloud, etc. And sales of Macs now that iOS and Mac OS are becoming more integrated.

    IMHO, Apple needs to stay focused providing great platforms to develop apps on, with great user experiences, with great security, and with great reliability. If they make more money than they know what to do with doing that, I'll gladly take that cash as dividends.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    sog35 said:
    So should Apple get a cut of every transaction someone does on their phone? Every time I order a pizza using my iPhone a percentage of that sale should go to Apple? Really?
    No. But companies such as Facebook, Twitter, ect who have hundreds of millions of iOS customers should be paying something.

    And why not?  If I make a game on iOS, I need to pay 30% of all the revenue. Why does Facebook get away with paying $0?

    Facebook should have to pay 5% of advertising fees to Apple for iOS users. Or a fixed amount like Google. Having your App work on iOS is not a right, its a privlege.

    To be frank, Facebook can't survive without iOS users. But Apple can certainly survive without Facebook. 
    I tend to agree that Apple should definitely get a cut of advertising revenue if app and company profitability is completely dependent on ad rev.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,081member
    "We are not an everything company", says the many-branches-of-computing and music marketing company rumored to be making a freaking car...

    core competakcies

    wgy the f**k doesn't autocorrect work on new lines on this website??????
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