Economist has a cover story on 'Apple & Art of Innovation'. In this brilliant feature Economist has enumerated the rules behind this art of innovation. The article says -
"...But mostly Apple's zest comes from its reputation for inventiveness. In polls of the world's most innovative firms it consistently ranks first. From its first computer in 1977 to the mouse-driven Macintosh in 1984, the iPod music-player in 2001 and now the iPhone, which goes on sale in America this month, Apple has prospered by keeping just ahead of the times."
How it was possible for Apple do that consistantly? Here are the rules according to Economist -
- Network Innovation - the innovation can come from within and without the company. A company must be open to receive new ideas
- User is at the centre, not demands of technology. This also leads to simplicity of the products
- Thinking ahead of times i.e. rather than bowing to today's market demands, innovate for tomorrow
- Fail wisely - learn from your mistakes. That;s what Apple did in case of Lisa
One point, which I feel is the most important and is not covered here is 'Neglect competitors'. If Apple competed with numerous mp3 player manufacturers, iPod would not have born and neither iPhone. Your concentration on competitors limits your achievement prospects by limiting your originality. Thus you can make a Prada, but not iPhone. An innovative company must compete with itself and time and not with other market-players.