Hugh Pickens writes: "John Boudreau writes in the Mercury News that during its just-completed fiscal year, Apple broke four consecutive quarterly revenue and profit records and amid the worst recession in decades, hired thousands while others cut jobs, but what most distinguishes Apple is that while other tech titans spent 2010 cutting costs and acquiring new technology through mergers, this $65 billion company has been relentless in innovating like a startup and ruthless in promoting technologies that disrupt its own product lines. ""It's been an awesome year. The frequency of new stuff just boggles the mind," says Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Co. "There is no company that is remotely close to what Apple is doing. They are the Energizer Bunny." Some companies, such as Microsoft, whose Windows operating system has been a franchise moneymaker, are too focused on protecting successful products and not on the next new disruptive innovation says Wolf "They can't envision another profit stream that would be that important, so they go into protective mode." But Apple is unafraid to cannibalize or kill its own products. "No company is more willing to kill its own babies," writes Boudreau. "Rather than wait for competitors to draw the knife, co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs does the deed himself." In September 2005, Apple killed off the popular iPod Mini to make way for the the iPod Nano; Apple openly acknowledges that the iPhone is cannibalizing its iPods — and they don't seem to care; and the iPad tablet could ultimately threaten its core laptop business. "[Apple] has a different cultural mind-set," concludes Wolf. "They are acting like a startup, though they are becoming a $100 billion company.""
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