I think even I’ve gone nuts. i think Apple corporation should become a Japanese company. It should enter into negotiations with Japan to bring in its engineers and families as full citizens, and make the offer to everyone.
Why should Apple go Japanese? Because Apple’s core strength is not phones, computers, or electronics. It’s conglomeration. The US has very strong anti-conglomeration rules. Japan loves them.
Apple as a conglomeration makes a ton of sense. Apple no longer has Steve Jobs( A pure “second mover” using a “fast follow” strategy ), but it has a legacy of understanding both second-mover and fast-follow. This is a strategy that works well in building conglomerations. You use this strategy in a wide variety of spaces — phones, TVs, computers, video games, banking, fast food, etc… You need capital, secrecy, a small core design team, and a few super-consumers. All things Apple is good at. In the US, Apple will be allowed to play in computers, phones, maybe even electronics. They won’t be allowed entry into record production, banking, food production, etc.. The best they can hope for is to have some incest on partner boards. In Japan, they’d be free to use this strategy well( as well as South Korea, China, pretty much most of Asia ). Apple’s employees probably won’t want to live in Seoul or Beijing. Tokyo, Kyoto, or even Okinawa could probably entice many Apple employees to move. Plus Japan is close enough to China that their supply lines would shrink. They could maintain a design subsidiary in California, but for the most part, all business would be in Japan. Japan would gain a high-employment corporate citizen, an infusion of technical talent, and some silicone valley expertise. Everyone wins in this kind of scenario. It’s a crazy idea — I’m sure people will laugh it off — but Apple is risking becoming a slow-growth company in the US. Apple will either wither away in the US, very slowly, or it will fast die in Japan. The chance of fast growth is also possible. Now, there may be other problems — I haven’t thought through financing and currency market issues — but in terms of its core strengths, Japan seems like a natural home. The Japanese even like fruit-based names.