The release of the new iPhone 6 unleashed a firestorm of questions about the direction of Apple. From concern that Apple is simply copycatting other enormous phone designs to criticism of the company’s product direction, many early adopter types are wondering if the technology giant is heading in the wrong direction.
Let’s face it, Apple will always live under the watchful eye of WWSD (What Would Steve Do?). They will constantly be judged by the ghost of quite possibly the greatest innovator of our time. But, my goal today isn’t to judge the direction of Apple. My goal today isn’t to judge the quality of the new products. My goal is to take a more light-hearted look at the measuring stick by which to evaluate Apple against itself.
Apple has been at the forefront of personal technology innovation for the past two decades. Their innovative thinking put them there. So, I think the proper measuring stick for their technology is their own innovative thinking. To do that, let’s take a look at 3 core (pun intended) elements of Apple’s innovative thinking that made them the industry leader in personal technology.
Gave Us What We Never Knew We Wanted
I remember when Starbucks first hit my hometown. I thought, “So, they are selling a place for people to sit around drinking really expensive coffee…this will never work.” Turns out I was wrong. Turns out Starbucks gave us something we never knew we wanted…a place to connect. Starbucks wins more because of the connection to other Bucksie’s (my name for Starbucks regulars) than really good coffee.
Apple is the Starbucks of technology. Back when I used a PC, I never knew I wanted a graphics oriented, user friendly laptop. I never knew aesthetics mattered in my computing experience. Now, I’d have to be forced to go back. Something you constantly hear from Apple users is, “It just makes sense.” That’s one of the backbones of Apple’s innovative thinking.
Made the Best Better Possible
I was in a second hand store recently and stumbled across a peculiar antique. I found a circa 1987 bag phone. Remember those? Remember the Palm Pilot? Remember the Rolodex? Remember Atari? Remember the Walkman? Remember the World Book Encyclopedia? Remember paper calendars? If you’re a millennial, you might not. Right now, you probably carry all of those in your pocket.
Apple took the best physical resources of the day and combined them into one piece of technology. They combined them into the best possible product. Whether it was the iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes or the App Store, Apple created new technology to incorporate the best of what already existed.
Business Quality Devices For Personal Use
There was a time when fax machines were reserved for offices. They were a business-only device. Regular people like you and me were left with snail mail. The original laptop was a business-issued device. The same was true for cellular telephones. Printers only existed in offices. If you think about it, many of the devices that are commonplace in homes around the world were originally relegated to the corporate environment.
Apple broke that trend. They made a major technological shift. They brought business quality products directly to consumers like us. In fact, you probably have access to most technology products that businesses do. You can go to the App Store and buy most business oriented applications. Your phone is just as powerful as Wall Street’s elite. You have access to the same laptop as Apple executives. Apple tore down the wall between business and personal devices.
Here’s where things turn. What about you? Do you have these cores at the forefront of your creative thinking? Let’s stop asking whether Apple is rotten. Let’s ask the same question of ourselves. Are we pushing the innovation envelope?
I’d love to hear from you. Where are you challenged to give people what they never knew they wanted, make the best better possible, or tear down existing walls in your world?