Steve Jobs, as Google in a way, too, is admired for his disruptive talents. He is able to re-invent markets, business models, products, and services. By that he of course polarizes, but one must admit he is successful as almost nobody else.
His success makes him more 'dangerous' to other existing businesses around his own. His success of course makes him a perfect example to learn from – before he turns to your own market!
Just by identifying and reflecting the parallelisms of Apple's most successful products and brands in the last few years,
– iPod & iTunes (including Nike+)
we may learn a lot about the traits we should apply to our own business thinking and strategy.
The common traits of Apple's success stories are easy to identify. Just read the below 5 rules and add your own knowledge about the above products:
01 – Intuition
Almost intuitively feeling what the consumer might love tomorrow (even if s/he does not know about this future love today), Apple transcends today's markets and tomorrow's consumers, their wants and cravings (not necessarily their needs).
02 – Imagination
By adding relevant and game-changing features, Apple transforms awoken wants and cravings into tangible 'needs'.
By not limiting that imagination to the average manager's courage Apple is able to amaze the (potential) consumer almost every time they launch a new product (or even update).
Intuition and Imagination build the foundation for Apple's success: Fascination, Simplification, and Beautification:
03 – Fascination
A large part of Apple's fascination is build upon their ability to identify what I like to call 'Informal Markets', markets you do not find in the text book but in your consumer's behavior, markets not build by researcher's definitions but by consumer's action.
People are stunned by Apple's products, wondering why they themselves did not think of that combination of services and/or features before – as with simplification.
04 – Simplification
The products' inner beauty lies in an unsurpassed convenience and simplicity – without suffering from neglect! Apple supplies a new perspective, a new way of working and handling the tasks at hand. This opens new horizons and becomes example for the market as a whole.
05 – Beautification
The products' outer beauty is more than obvious. And we do not know which comes first, beautification or simplification. Together they challenge each other, outgrow themselves and become a fascinating singularity.
I know, these easy to identify rules for success are very hard to match (and I know there is more to it from inside the company), but if we do not start today, we won't be as successful as we could tomorrow.
Be a Spark! Change the Game! Leave a Mark!
June, 30th > 08:39hrs > "Three Critical Innovation Lessons from Apple", Harvard Business Review. "Why Creativity is Dangerous for Business Innovation", Blogging Innovation.
Great interview with Jonathan Ive on Apple's design: "Material Matters", core77.