Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new FastCompany.com?

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

The Apple Wannabes: Dell, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Google

Inside the secret brainstorms that begin with the dreaded phrase, "If only we could be more like Apple."

Pepsi

Pepsi

Exec #1: "Only once every four years will we be able to take the logo of a Diet Coke — drinking presidential candidate, rotate it 45 degrees, and act like we created the Mona Lisa of logos."
Exec #2: "We need to move quickly to keep this momentum. It's not about soft drinks anymore."
Exec #1: "Kids today are turning to the iSoda app on their iPhones."
Exec #2: "We need to galvanize a movement."
Exec #1: "I've got the solution. I call it 'iHope.' It's sleek, minimal, refined, and frugal — a sign of the times. The titanium can signals that you're in the club. And the contents? This is the best part: There are none. It's just air."[Long silence]
Exec #2: "I love it."
Exec #3: "How do we bottle it?"

Microsoft

Microsoft

PowerPoint slide 1: Vista 2.0 Rollout Plan
PowerPoint slide 2: Customers loved Vista almost as much as Zune, but they didn't have a way to express it.
PowerPoint slide 3: With Windows 7 ready, now is the time to tap all that hidden Vista passion.
PowerPoint slide 4: What captures the Vista experience better than the blue screen?
PowerPoint slide 5: It's a blank slate for creativity, a canvas for customers to express their emotions. But we haven't had a name for it.
PowerPoint slide 6: Until now.
PowerPoint slide 7: Meet Bluei (pronounced blooey).
PowerPoint slide 8: Ka-ching? Ka-Bluei! Our customers are going to explode.

Google

Google

Eric Schmidt: "Got a minute, Googletron 9000?"
Computer: "Yes, Eric?"
Schmidt: "How do we compete with the iPhone? Our engineers are the best in the world. We're artists. But no one gets it. You've seen Google Calendar, right?"
Computer: "Of course, Eric."
Schmidt: "Exactly! So what can we do?"
Computer: "Well, statistically speaking, humans gravitate toward objects of simple design and uncomplicated meaning. They also like shiny objects. So I'd do that. Name it 'Android.' That's my son's name."
Schmidt: "Great. Thanks. Hey, while I'm here, can you help me pick between these 41 shades of blue?"

Dell

Google

Exec #1: "I don't get it: Apple does thin laptops, we do thin laptops. They do fashion colors, we do fashion colors."
Exec #2: "Why can't we find that 'it' factor?"
Exec #1: "Hey, that's it: IT!"
Exec #2: "Sneakernet is where Apple fears to tread?"
Exec #1: "Design Eye for the Server Guy."
Exec #2: "Can we make them 'belong' to our brand by incorporating design into their world?"
Exec #1: "I won't rest until an HP-loyal IT guy sees his friend at the server farm with the new Dellicious line of colorful boxes, and snorts, 'Nice rack.' "

RooftopComedy records live comedy every night of the year, with a global network of comedians satirizing everything from the boardroom to the bathroom. Go to FastCompany.com/rooftopcomedy every Friday for new RooftopComedy videos.

Add New Comment

6 Comments