I follow Apple, a consumer product company regularly. I have also invested lot of my time in understanding the company history, product design ideology, product iterations, how it positions itself in the market, how it differentiates itself from others by tight integration of software and hardware etc. Since I follow it so closely, I tend to see many other things in those lines and try to draw parallels whenever possible. Of course I give it a good thought but I do not think it through all the intricate details as it more of a fun thought experiment. One such parallel I could think of was Brahmin’s Coffee Bar in Basavangudi, Bangalore, India. I visit Brahmin’s Coffee Bar very often and treat myself to the best idli and vades I have ever eaten. Apart from that, this blog post idea was lingering in my mind for eons now, so I wanted to put an end to that procrastination cycle.
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar (referred as BCB from now on) is a small restaurant that serves few South Indian dishes and coffee/tea and it is well known. Have a look at the menu card of BCB in the picture below.
As you can see very few dishes are served. Similar to Apple, which does not release whole range of models of phones, instead sells and supports only a small range of products. This helps keep the supply chain lean and react fast to market changes apart from other advantages which I am not fully aware of.
In the second picture you can see the picture of idli and vade in a plate. One thing to notice is that the plate is very simple and lacks unnecessary design complexities which are seen in other similar restaurants. This makes the daily cleaning of dishes and replacement easy. This is similar to Apple, where it provides simple user interface (imho) and does not provide features which are used by only a small percentage of people and useful only in few incidences.
If you know how idli and vade is served in general, apart from noticing there are no partition in plates for chutney and sambar, you can notice there is no sambar. I am guessing it is an intentional omission and probably they have their reasons for it (will try to check and update the reason if I come across). Similarly with Apple, they tend to omit some very important feature that is common with other similar products from competitors due to various reasons such as controlling the hardware, competition etc. For example they removed 3.5mm headphone jack to control their music ecosystem.
If you have ever visited BCB, you can notice that inspite of having lot of customers, the service is quite fast. This enhances customer experience as it helps deliver menu items fast. They do this by limiting the menu and have lots of people to serve the menu items they cook. In Apple too, they tend to do the similar thing. They kind of have lot of support personnel which enhances customer experience.
To summarise, I have jotted down some points which made me think BCB as parallel to Apple. It is more of a fun thought experiment but feel free to provide points in which the analogy breaks or give more inputs to validate my weak claim 🙂