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Discussion Question

Although the consumer electronics industry is highly competitive, it is evident that Apple, Inc. is a clear leader, both in the context of innovational rates and the company’s revenues. There are several key differences between Apple, Inc. and other companies from the technology industry. Firstly, Apple, Inc. determines the industry’s trends, rather than follows the direction determined by other companies. Apple’s innovative products, such as Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone demonstrate that the company is always oriented towards developing radically new products that do not have close substitutes in the market (Gupta & Prinzinger, 2013). Secondly, Apple, Inc. tries not only to respond to the existing consumer needs but also aims at predicting their future dynamics. For example, Apple Watch integrates the latest technologies with consumer convenience. Thirdly, Apple, Inc. pays closer attention to the company’s brand and market reputation. Therefore, customers receive not only high-quality products but also moral satisfaction from purchasing the products of the socially responsible company.

Thus, the strategy of Apple, Inc. includes addressing consumer needs in the most innovative and optimal (from their perspective) way. In contrast, other companies orient mostly to Apple’s products and try to create close substitutes to the already existing products. However, even lower prices do not usually attract customers because they prefer to deal with the industry’s leader. Apple, Inc. interacts with consumer differently. They know that it will propose new and innovative solutions to their needs and demands. Correspondingly, followers will merely imitate its strategies. The leader has also done different things not only regarding implementing consumer electronics innovations but also to promote the philosophy of serving people worldwide, rather than maximizing its profits and revenues (Gupta & Prinzinger, 2013). Such behavior encourages employees to be more responsible and causes respect of customers who appreciate when they are viewed not only as a source of revenues.

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Ethical/Social Issues

It is reasonable to examine the market and business performance of Twitter, as it provides several examples of both ethical and unethical actions. Twitter is one of the most successful social networking services in the world. The service allows sending and reading short messages (so called “tweets”) for people from all over the world. The example of the company’s ethical behavior is the introduction of verified accounts (Browning, 2013). As the complete Internet freedom presupposes the possibility of misrepresenting one’s identity, a large number of users are interested in receiving some guarantees that the identity of a person they communicate with is actually real. For this reason, Twitter has introduced the option of verified accounts. Moreover, the company’s managers have also taken into account the interests of people who want to verify their accounts. They are able to select any verification method from the list developed by Twitter. Finally, the company covers all the costs associated with the verification of accounts and does not impose them on its users.

The above example shows the company’s responsible and consumer-oriented behavior. However, the recent case also shows that some ethical problems exist in the company. In particular, a large number of people from different countries have experienced problems with accessing Twitter on January, 20, 2016. The company’s representatives claimed that the source of problem was the internal code change (CBS News, 2016). Therefore, it shows the lack of social responsibility as the company did not notify its users in advance about the potential problems that might appear. Moreover, the fact that changed were reversed also proves that these changes in the internal code were not caused by objective technological or other needs. As a result, the company’s reputation was affected negatively. In general, Twitter recognizes the role and significance of ethical issues in organizing business and fails to implement them in a consistent manner.

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Small Group

As black swan events can have a profound impact on people’s lives, they should be examined closely. First of all, it is necessary to build more sustainable communities that may operate under the conditions associated with high risks and threats. The interests of all community members should be considered. Optimal solutions should allow balancing them and respecting the rights of all minority groups. The design of housing should promote neighbors’ interactions with each other (Mascone, 2013). In this way, people may be better aware of the interests and needs of each other. Correspondingly, their actions, in case of an emergency, can be better integrated with each other. Moreover, it is reasonable to develop transport infrastructure, as it makes communities more sustainable. In particular, several modes will create additional opportunities for community members and protect their interests adequately.

It is also necessary to organize the responses to black swan events more effectively. For this reason, the proper collaboration between the public and private sectors should be achieved. The federal government should be responsible for predicting potential emergencies and creating strategic reserves of different types (Mascone, 2013). The local government may address specific community needs, as well as encourage people’s higher responsibility and awareness of such events. Private companies should actively participate in providing assistance to the victims, if such events occur. As private organizations are more flexible, they can provide timely assistance to various groups within the minimum possible time and satisfy their most urgent needs. The subsequent improvement of people’s housing and other conditions should be delegated to the federal government. In general, it is highly important to distribute the amount of functions between the public and private sectors, in a way that will generate the highest possible results.

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Strategy Team Project

Nike, Inc. may serve as a basis for designing the team project. The company was founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in 1964. In the beginning, the company specialized on distributing Japanese shoes. Gradually, it expanded its operations throughout the country. In the beginning of 1970, the famous swoosh was designed and became the company’s logo. Nike, Inc. became the public company in 1980, while controlling around 50% of the American market. Nike, Inc. is known for its successful advertising campaigns, including “Just Do It” (Firnhaber, 2013). Currently, the company is not only national but also the global footwear leader.

The major two top-managers of the company include Phil Knight and Mark Parker. The former is the company’s chairman. He developed the idea of distributing Japanese shows in the American market during his trip around the world after his graduation from the university. He was impressed by the high quality and low cost of shoes of one of the Japanese companies. Then, he acquired the distribution rights for the United States (Firnhaber, 2013). Knight has a considerable experience in this sphere and understands the role of advertising and brand promotion. The company adopted the swoosh logo under his initiative. His leadership qualities contributed to the company’s international growth and development. 

Parker is the company’s CEO, and began his career in the company as an ordinary engineer. He became the Vice President in 1987 and the company’s CEO in 2006 (Firnhaber, 2013). He has a considerable experience in all spheres of the company’s performance. His leadership qualities allowed promoting the company’s corporate philosophy more effectively in the 21st century. The company’s business model includes the major source of revenues (footwear) and other secondary spheres (accessories, equipment, etc). The company is currently trying to increase its diversification in the global market.

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