Episode 024: A Celebratory Goblet of Champagne

The idea for Exponent was hatched when Ben and James were arguing about Ben’s article What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong a year ago. In this episode, we finally reach a resolution to the question about how Apple escapes disruption. Plus, whether or not Xiaomi is a threat to Apple, personal development philosophies, and more (sorry, we went a bit long…)


  • Ben Thompson: How Apple Creates Leverage, and the Future of Apple Pay – Stratechery
  • John Siracusa: OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review (Conclusion) – ArsTechnica
  • Ben Thompson: What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong – Stratechery
  • Ben Thompson: Growing Apple at WWDC – Stratechery
  • James Allworth: The 787’s Problems Run Deeper Than Outsourcing – Harvard Business Review


Podcast Information

4 thoughts on “Episode 024: A Celebratory Goblet of Champagne

  1. Some other companies were also integrated in the hard/soft.
    IBM and Sun Microsystems comes to my mind. They also integrated chip design.
    Those companies are not more where they were.
    This also puts a dent in the subject as the Apple’s ‘value.’

    Maybe we can find the ‘reason to defeat disruption’ in Apple’s DNA: to do the best device for the customer.
    As you told, there is no ceiling for ‘best.’

    1. Luis, because those companies are in enterprise, not the consumer market. Even then though, IBM found new opportunities by going from IT to Cloud.

  2. Isn’t Amazon trying the modular approach? The result is rather generic and obviously self-serving. So that’s a hard path to follow. Someone else will always create a better product at a close enough price. Apple does a deep integration and design. They don’t just buy parts. That’s far beyond the resources or skills of most companies, especially given the risk of making a mistake and falling behind.

  3. Software may be easy to change, but those changes and modifications are not “free” by any stretch of the imagination. Developers are expensive and poorly written software costs real money to maintain and keep in place. Yes it’s easier and cheaper to change than hardware, but many a pure software company has failed with this very same thinking.

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