Apple SVPs Talk About Apple Maps’ Debut and Other Failures [Interview]

Earlier this week, Fast Company shared their exclusive interview with Apple’s top executives including Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, which is set to publish in their September issue. The executives talked about how patient they have been at their work at Apple in coming up with the best products for customers, despite setbacks along the way. The publication has today posted a follow up to the extensive interview, in which Apple SVPs open up about learning from the company’s failures.

3062596 poster p 1 eddie cue and craig federighi open up about learning from apples failures

When asked about how Apple is developing Maps, and how broadly might it apply as Apple looks ahead, Cue said, “The first thing to know about Maps is there’s no one developing maps in a significant way except us and Google. There’s Nokia, and then you’ve got TomTom, which is a relatively small company selling to cars”. He continued that developing Maps is very expensive and Apple has thousands of people working on it. 

Replying to the question of what happens to the development team when something like Maps gets introduced and it’s derided immediately, here’s what Cue and Federighi said:

Cue: Well, look, the first thing is that you’re embarrassed. Let’s just deal with that one fact of emotion. I mean, these things mean a lot to us. We work really hard, and so you’re embarrassed. We had long discussions at the ET [executive team] level about the importance of Maps, where we thought Maps was going in the future, and could we treat it as a third-party app?

Federighi: So it was a triple down, and it was a huge learning moment for Apple. Maps presented us with some relatively new challenges, where we needed to develop competencies that we initially didn’t appreciate, areas where we needed some depth, where we needed to take a new approach […] We completely underestimated the complexity of the product.

You can read the lengthy interview in its entirety at this link.

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