Case Analysis – Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer The career of Donna Dubinsky serves us as a perfect example of what ones ingenuity might accomplish, if applied at right time in right place. At the same time it also shows that the Dubinskys initial success wasnt a result of her being a genius but rather of her persistence in pursuing what she thought was the best way to handle business matters by the companies she used to be affiliated with. Although, Dubinskys educational background (historian) would hardly allow her to get a job with computer company, she nevertheless has managed to do this, even though she had to complete a business course at Harvard Bussiness School, prior to applying for position at Apple. In 1981 she was given a position of customer support liaison. One of her responsibilities included designing the new sale strategy for Apple computers. This was exactly what young visionary needed.
Within four years Apples revenues have increased from $200 million to $2 billion. In my opinion, Dubinskys initial success with Apple can be attributed to the fact that she applied a universal method, while designing sales strategy. Contrary to many Apples top executives, who insisted on adopting a niche player tactics, Dubinsky pursued with aggressive expansion onto the new markets. This, in its turn, required a great degree of flexibility on her part. Donna later explained the biggest motivational factor of her success: I doubt there’s any entrepreneur who’s succeeded on his original business plan. Situations change, the dynamic changes, the competitive environment changes, the technologies change.
The Apple Case Analysis The start of the era of personal computers started a very long time ago. It started in 1971 by Dr. Ted Hoff has assembled all of the elements of a computer microprocessor on one silicon chip, which in size was approximately as big as one square inch. This microprocessor was called Intel 4004 this creation was the first microprocessor available commercially. (1) These chips ...
You have to be able to adapt (Dubinsky).
In middle eighties the situation on the PC market was much different than it is now. With the virtual absence of Internet it was important to be able to correspond to the market demands within the shortest possible time. Back than, the only way to accomplish this was creating the network of warehouses, where different items could be stored for the indefinite period of time, until demand arises. Basically, this was the essence of Dubinskys distribution strategy. Had any computer or software company deployed similar strategy nowadays, it would bankrupt within a very short time. Therefore, it would be a mistake to suggest that the Apples achievements in middle eighties came exclusively as the result of Donnas extraordinary business abilities.
Nevertheless, her role in increasing Apples income at the time was well recognized. She was being appointed as head of Apples distribution division. Even though this position allowed Dubinsky to continue on with employment of her sales approach, she could never enjoy the complete freedom in making decisions. Things got worse in 1985, when Apples board of directors voted in favor of adopting a new just-in-time distribution method. This meant that the designing of the products, according to the forecasted demands of future markets, would have to be dropped in favor of exploiting momentarily business opportunities. It would drastically affect a complex distribution system, which was organized by Dubinsky over the course of four years. She had increasingly found herself spending more time defending her distribution strategy than executing her primary duties.
Donna remembers those times as the most miserable in my life. In 1986 she offered to resign but was talked into continue working for the company on the foreign grounds by Bill Campbell, one of the Apples top officials at the time. Instead of leaving the company, Dubinsky flew to Australia to set up Apples distribution network there. While in Australia, Donna began to understand that her career ambitions could only be realized by founding her own company. Still, she had neither time nor money for it; therefore she agreed to become a vice-president of Claris, a free-standing software company, which was financed by Apple. Before assuming her new responsibilities, Dubinsky made it clear that she wouldnt tolerate Apples interference with her designing a distribution strategy for Claris.
Just-In-Time Distribution and Barilla SpA Anybody who knows something about business had heard the term Just-in-time (JIT) inventory. It involves producing only what is need, when it is needed. The principle of Just in time is to eliminate sources of manufacturing waste by getting the right quantity of raw materials and producing the right quantity of products in the right place at the right time. ...
For a while, everything went as she planned: I loved it. We had a great team. I was traveling 50% of the time. I was responsible for sales, marketing, and distribution outside the U.S. It was exhausting, but it was fun (Dubinsky).
It has taken her about three years to boost Clarises sales up to fifty percent.
Yet, in the year 1989 Apple has taken control of the company by buying the 80% of its stock. This meant that Dubinsky once again would have to get used to simply executing orders. Of course, for the business lady like Dubinsky, with an extensive practical experience, it was intolerable. She resigned almost simultaneously, even though Apple was trying to keep her by offering 10% of companys stock. In order to get an accurate answer about why she did it, one would have to interview Dubinski personally, but I think that the explanation here is self-evident. She sensed that her distribution strategy would become ineffective in the future and it would automatically deprive her of innovative aura, which made her so desirable as the object of employment by great many companies.
Later, Donna admitted that working for Apple gave her a valuable experience: I learned how to raise plenty of money and spend it as slowly as possible. At Apple, I saw how being ‘overcapitalized’ gave you the freedom to make mistakes (Dubinsky).
At the same time, she never regretted leaving Apple, as only this allowed her to expand her personal horizons. As practice shows, the big money rarely comes to a person as a result of him or her being strictly focused on accomplishing a financial success. It is rather a reward for daring. The case of Donna Dubinsky supports this statement unlike any other.
Had she continued working for Apple, she would never be able to attain her present celebrity status. As a matter of fact, it is her ability to orient in constant changes of trends within computer market in eighties and nineties that allowed Dubinsky to adopt proper distribution methods for every company she worked. Yet, she also had to switch companies, in order to fulfill her managerial talent to its fullest. What enabled her to do this is the absence of any emotional attachment to whether her coworkers or to the companys projects: You also have to be able to stop things. One of the disciplines I’m most proud of at Handspring is that we kill projects. That is so hard to do when people have invested their time and effort.
Japan to Apple iPhone “No Thanks” and Would Mickey Mouse Eat Shark Fin Soup these two case studies shows what happens when consumer behavior and marketing mix in globalization goes very wrong. These two studies reveal how marketer think they are giving a wonderful product and service in the case of Apple’s the iPhone and Disney the Shark’s Fin Soup. Understanding the ...
And they’re good projects. But you have to decide, Hey, when we started; it made a lot of sense. Today, for whatever reason, it doesn’t. We can’t keep doing it just because it’s got momentum (Dubinsky).
That is why I think that the Dubinskys resignation contributed both her and Apple. It is very hard to come up with a better scenario of how situation couldve been handled at the time. Even the nature of this question cannot correspond to the essence of the issue.
We all act in the way that seems most reasonable to us at the time. Drawing hypothetical scenarios can only be a part of entertainment and not the part of academic process. Still, let us imagine scenario of Dubinsky staying with Apple in 1989. If she stayed, shed be made responsible for promotion and distributing of Newton PDA, which proved to be failure, just as Palms Zoomer. The availability of the product would be undermined by the faulty PDA concept, according to which it was being designed. Therefore, Apples distribution system, which was set up by Dubinsky would prove to be ineffective, since people simply wouldnt buy something that doesnt satisfy their needs. This would automatically undermine Dubinskys value as distribution strategist, possibly leading to her resignation. In the end, she would find herself having lost much of her business credibility, which was only the factor that allowed her to find investors to finance Palm and Handspring.
In my opinion, Dubinsky would probably leave Apple even if all her demands were being satisfied. Her constant search for better prospective does not prove that she has ever being dissatisfied with the ones that were always available to her. She is just one of those personalities that move technical progress forward by its own restlessness. To conclude this we must point out to the fact Dubinskis accomplishments cannot be thought of from purely technological or financial point of view. She is one of the few self-made female millionaires that serve as an example for many todays young women. She accomplished so much in her life because she always favored daring, when it came to choosing between that and the stable but mediocre career of average professional.
Why was Dubinsky initially successful at Apple? Donna Dubinsky was initially successful at Apple because she projected a lot of confidence and conviction in her beliefs. Donna was a decision maker who battle for procedure. Donna was focused primarily on her caring and honest relationships with her subordinates. Donna was aggressive with her convictions; she pushed hard for an interview with Apple ...
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