Sustainable Business Models, Business Influency, and Apple

One of the ways we practice Influency at Answer Guy Central is by pointing back at the things we’ve said here over time. Part of that is self-promotional (“look how smart we are!!!“), and part is about optimization; when the things posted here several years ago start amassing new links, Google notices. Readers notice too, and in analyzing the success of our Influency efforts—or yours—spikes in traffic to old stories and where that traffic comes from are in the mix.

would you rather listen?

I have a couple of examples of how that works to share this week, starting today with something I noticed a few days ago. A story I wrote in November 2011 on the lies Apple tells about how Siri works, one which has been a decent traffic generator ever since we posted it, has begun ‘climbing the charts’. Specifically, this phrase seems to be generating heat:

Apple’s immense success putting together products that its users don’t understand the inner working of and calling that a benefit to those users has ceased to be a sustainable business model.

It’s a magnetic choice of wording, speaking to Apple’s entire business model, the idea of user benefits, and even sustainability all in one sentence. It ties those ideas together, and even gains some traction when people search for “Apple Sustainability” using the green-environmental-practices context of sustainability as that idea applies to Apple’s business practices. And while the last part is just a happy accident, we’ll take the extra traffic and long-tail Influency, thanks.

And of course it’s proving to be more and more correct; Apple’s having problems maintaining their previously-unassailable marketing dominance. Why? Because companies like Amazon, with better long-term Influency Marketing bases, are out-Appleing Apple.

It’s merely a coincidence that this is on my mind right at the thirtieth anniversary of Apple’s Macintosh computer. Also a coincidence: this weekend I burned a couple of MP4-formatted video files to a DVD for one of my kids, who because she’s a Mac person didn’t understand why it didn’t play automatically when she put it in her MacBook. So much for how easy Apple’s computers are to use.

This ultimately becomes a conversation about business change, but unless you’re sitting on a bar stool business change is too broad a topic to tackle easily. So let’s look backward again at some of what I write about here … but this time, let’s contain that walk down memory lane to just the last couple of weeks:

See what I did there (and by there, I mean both that I found an excuse to refer back to five more articles here and make a point about the Influency in that)? I just pointed you at several pieces, all addressing the way things change and how you can’t sustain Influency in the long term unless you change with them. Apple, formerly the world’s best example of how to build an amazing business by changing everythinghas stopped changing.

I’m not saying that Influency and business change are synonymous. But in pursuing Influency you need to keep an eye on the way your business, your customers, and the environment you all exist in together are changing.

Simple, right?

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