How does Apple succeed? Being control freaks about operations. Should we be? Control freaks both succeed and don’t, depending on whether they control the right things well.
I can remember the day when IBM were control freaks about anything to do with their computers. This is in part the old tension between preserving proprietary content and opening up to get more customers (and possibly cheaper ones who have a lower Total Cost of Ownership reservation price).
Charles Fine’s interesting research on the endless cycle between vertical integration and modularity is relevant here, and his notion of cycle time.