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Everyone Makes Mistakes!

Nobody’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. These are two common facts of life. Everyone knows them, except for…

 
Most major companies don’t care if they make a mistake. They are oblivious to it. They think there is no possible way that they could do something wrong. But notice I said “most”. Not “all”.
 
Because some companies know that they can make mistakes. If you read my columns regularly, I bet you can guess which company I’m going to use as an example!  That’s right: Apple. Steve Jobs once commented at a technology conference, “If the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices, we listen to the market. We’re just… We’re just people running this company.”
 
The newest Apple CEO, Tim Cook knows it too – he wrote a letter to the public about the problem with the new Apple Maps app. Even better, he suggested that consumers use competitors’ maps while Apple fixed their own. That, to me, shows that 1) Apple knows it can make mistakes, and 2) Tim Cook cares about Apple’s customers enough to a) spend his time writing a letter to the public, and b) recommend competition (which is unheard of for any company)!
 
The problem is, most companies won’t do that. For instance, consumers were in an uproar about functionality problems with Outlook 2011 for Mac.  I believe Apple, in that situation, would have almost immediately released an update to fix the problem. Microsoft, though, took its time, in that it released a small bug fix one month after the release but waited to address most functionality issues until – get this – six months after the original launch.
 
And CEO Steve Ballmer? Not a word to consumers from him about the issue, or at least it wasn’t made prominently.
 

These huge corporations need to learn something: it’s perfectly fine to make mistakes. Mistakes are how the original sticky note came to be. If you could just admit it, your consumers would be a whole lot happier, now that you show you care about consumers, not just money. And if you take a look at Apple’s stock price, maybe being honest with your customers pays off in the long run. Longterm thinking like that doesn’t seem to occur to most companies but one stands out…

 
Kudos, Apple, for knowing you can make mistakes, and for caring about your consumers.

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