This video is 100% accurate. Having been a product guy for a long time, and watched who gets promoted, I can tell you that the focus of the organization is either on Product, or Marketing, or Sales, or something else but it is never on all three. All decisions come down to a balance of these constituencies, from corporate strategy to where money is spent.
The trouble with product is that it is always a difficult argument in the board room to do what’s right for the customer, and to spend extra money to paint the back of the fence. Always. Because not all products are successful, and most people want to back a winning horse. In fact, most of the people that actually make it TO the boardroom are the types to lie in wait and and carefully back the right horse, not the risk-takers. The risk takers sometimes win and sometimes they lose. To be a true product person who survives to the boardroom takes incredible, Jobs-like skill. There are a handful of these people. 1 out of 100,000, maybe less.
So it’s no surprise that Apple is seeing it’s products start to slip. Since Ive is now in charge of product, we get beautiful visual and industrial design with less usefulness (cases in point: Macbook pro no USB and iPhone 7 no headphone jack!) We get gorgeous watches that don’t do very much. We get NO utilitarian Mac Pro or Minis, the workhorses. (My mini is now 8 years old, kept alive with an SSD and memory add-on, now almost completely dated.) The list goes on.
Apple needs a product person to be in charge. They must know this. They need a seat at the table, on par with Ive and the rest. If they don’t, they will continue to slip until they are lost. The irony of course, is that Microsoft has a true product person running things, the first since Bill, and they are starting to win again. I’m totally fascinated to see how things work out.