Redwoods, solar panels, lasers and hydroelectric power plants are just metaphors for the process. Now let’s speak in terms more familiar to every business — market, technology, people, capital, organization. Every functioning company, small or large, strives to identify and serve a need in society which constitutes the potential market for its products and services. Every company utilizes some form of know-how or technology to produce and deliver products and services to meet those market needs. Every business needs people, a few or a lot, to conceive of the ideas, generate the energy, formulate the goals and plans, develop the organization and perform the skilled execution of work required to deliver products and services to meet market needs. Every company also requires a certain quantum of capital, physical and financial, like the $5000 and the garage which Apple started with, to generate the products and services to meet those needs. And finally every company needs one more thing, which often appears nebulous and intangible, but is absolutely essential for its effective functioning. It needs organization, whether formal or informal, large or small, consisting of the structures, systems, procedures and activities required for the other four combined together to form a cohesive, dynamic, living whole. These are the five essential components of every business. Companies that excel sometimes attribute their high performance to extraordinary development of one or two of these five components. They may proudly proclaim that they are market-driven or technology-driven or people-driven or driven by a strong capital base and financial management. More rarely do companies perceive organization as the real driver of their growth. Rarer still are companies whose conscious intention is the equal and balanced development of all five.
In reality, each of these five components has the potential of being converted into an engine for rapid growth and high performance. Aggressive high energy marketing was Steve Jobs’ forte, even when he was still working out of his garage and personally assembling motherboards together with Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak was a technical genius who first linked a motherboard to a TV and typed on the keyboard to display text on the screen. The combination of their skills was enough to make Apple an early leader in the personal computer industry, until weaknesses in the other three components compelled them to bring in venture capital, hire hundreds of people and create the first rudimentary framework of corporate structure. By then IBM entered the market with its Intel and Microsoft-based PC, and assumed a dominant leadership position together with HP, DEC, Compaq and other more professionally managed companies. Apple’s market share gradually declined.Download Article 1K Club