Steve Jobs solved Innovator's Dilemma

v9991

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#1
  • When describing his period of exile from Apple —... — Steve Jobs described one fundamental root cause of Apple's problems. That was to let profitability outweigh passion : "My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. The products, not the profits, were the motivation . Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It's a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything."

  • Profit was viewed as necessary, but not sufficient, to justify everything Apple did . That attitude resulted in a company that looks entirely different to almost any other modern Fortune 500 company

  • An executive who worked at both Apple and Microsoft described the differences this way: "Microsoft tries to find pockets of unrealized revenue and then figures out what to make. Apple is just the opposite: It thinks of great products, then sells them. Prototypes and demos always come before spreadsheets ."

  • Everything — the business, the people — are subservient to the mission: building great products. And rather than listening to, or asking their customers what they wanted; Apple would solve problems customers didn't know they had with products they didn't even realize they wanted.

  • on the iPad disrupting the Mac business: "Yes, I think there is some cannibalization... the iPad team works on making their product the best. Same with the Mac team." It's almost unheard of to be able to manage disruption like this. Apple has made the creation of value for customers its priority.When you do this, the fear of cannibalization or disruption of one's self just melts away.

  • That "subtle difference" — of flipping the priorities away from profit and back to great products — took Apple from three months away from bankruptcy, to one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world.


http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/ste...t-_-Steve+Jobs+Solved+the+Innovator's+Dilemmahttp://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/steve_jobs_solved_the_innovato.html?cm_sp=most_widget-_-default-_-Steve+Jobs+Solved+the+Innovator%27s+Dilemma
 
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Marc

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#2
I read that somewhere, too. I think I started a thread and posted a link here but no one commented.

Part of that is, for example, the Newton. It wasn't actually a failure, but there were enough people complaining about the problem of handwriting recognition (and having owned one, in reality, considering the state of handwriting recognition at the time, it was really pretty good) killed sales. The important part is the iPhone is what came from the Newton "experience".

Apple is an interesting company. Jobs was an unusual person. That's why many people are wondering what will become of Apple now that Jobs is gone.
 

v9991

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#4
I read that somewhere, too. I think I started a thread and posted a link here but no one commented.
:eek: yes, i must have checked before posting; :eek:


Its not only that, there is, even ideas have to wait for right-time to realize their value; ... there is right time for us(each individual) when we will be able to connect with the ideas!!!
 

Marc

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#5
I first used a Mac in 1996 and though I have and use several computers with different operating systems, I'm still a Mac person at heart. At the time I also had an Amiga. Actually the Amiga was the better computer and OS but it didn't go over for many reasons.

But to put things in perspective, when I hear about technological advances and how technology continues to displace people in the work place, I think back to 1987ish when my boss at (then) Cincinnati Electronics talked his boss into Macs for him and me. And a laser printer. We were writing Environmental Design Criteria test plans for military electronic communications and control equipment. We were writing them on IBM PCs using WordStar and using Lotus 123 for data. If I remember correctly there was a secondary program to make graphs from Lotus files. WordStar documents had to be printed, and graphs and data sets had to printed separately. The Wordstar document then had to be correctly formatted with "placeholders" (I think we had to insert linefeeds in places) where we wanted to put graphs, pictures or what ever. THEN - Once we had the document (often they were 50 to 100 or more pages) printed we had to take the graphics printed from other programs and paste them in the printed WordStar document. THEN - We had to take the whole mess to the document control department to have them photocopy the document which of course picked up the little lines and such that the pasted in graphics caused. It was a long and involved process, and it produced a pretty crappy looking document.

Once we got Macs, although we were laughed at by people who saw them (and usually called them toys), we could write the plan in MacWrite, do graphics in MacPaint, copy and paste and print it out. It cut 70 to 80% of the time off writing a test plan and the laser printer was impressive - Documents looked like typeset documents. And although Macs were expensive, considering our labor cost they paid for themselves in a few months. And - MacWrite and MacPaint were free unlike WordStar and Lotus 123 which charged companies *per seat*.

I could go on about Macs, obviously, but the bottom line is they were a significant break through.

One thing I bet few people know - Microsoft wrote Excel for the Mac a couple years or so BEFORE they wrote a version for their OS.

Other than during the Scully years (profit over product), Apple has been one of the most unusual companies I have ever come across. Apple has had failures over the years, but every company has so that's not something for anyone to knock them for. But look at Apple now. From the first Apple computer and then the Apple II, to their products today, Apple has been a leader in innovation and designs products people want - Not because the product is from Apple, but because they make good products with excellent features that people want.

From your quote in post 1 above: "The products, not the profits, were the motivation." Off the top of my head I can't think of one other major company which embraced (or embraces) that philosophy. I do know many smaller companies that embrace and live by that philosophy.

And I think this forum is run that way. I've had a number of opportunities to sell Elsmar over the years, including a somewhat recent significant offer. Elsmar has a significant financial potential. But if I did sell it, I believe the "Scully" switch to profit motivation would change it into something I wouldn't be proud of. Yes - Profit is necessary to every company, but it isn't the answer to making something people want.
 

v9991

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#6
From your quote in post 1 above: "The products, not the profits, were the motivation." Off the top of my head I can't think of one other major company which embraced (or embraces) that philosophy. I do know many smaller companies that embrace and live by that philosophy.
They do exist; but we may never hear about them because, they are never out to conquer the market!!!...
*) there are products which cater to specialized/niche markets/segments; and they are never heard outside those circules;
**) we hear the best of the products are home grown...(here i quote only the intent part of it because, they are developed to best suit the needs...thus solving many problems which can potentially be genericized.)
unfortunate part is that they never try to evolve or get into open market; (cause that might take away the focus from evolving the product to either providing support or getting into competition)
***) where do you put some of industry&university collaborations; there are atleast few projects which find their R&Ds in those projects!!!

BTW, the profit over product is reflected in the approach and sustaining a development project. right? (i.e., do we shelf a project untill becomes profitable, or do we place higher emphasis on prototyping - solutions ,...) once its in market, then it ought to support itself right!!!
Its more a reflection of drive/motive behind the projects than real-profits/products..!!!

And I think this forum is run that way. I've had a number of opportunities to sell Elsmar over the years, including a somewhat recent significant offer. Elsmar has a significant financial potential. But if I did sell it, I believe the "Scully" switch to profit motivation would change it into something I wouldn't be proud of. Yes - Profit is necessary to every company, but it isn't the answer to making something people want.
:thanks::agree::applause:
But then, (on the sidelines,may be this must be pushed to other thread/sub-group) (& surely, you might have already explored...) yet...there ought to be some possibility of collaboration with non-profit organizations so as to away the "burden" of few/you. it could be either on physically maintaining/committing time or otherwise financially...
Probably, that could be one of the ways to expand the horizons of all our interests. (something like/equivalent to ICH - GHTF - SAE etc..,) BUT then thats just theory/concept...it takes further LOT to make it happen!!!
 

Jim G

Involved In Discussions
#7
Marc
I believe Elsmar is run in the right way and for the right reasons and you should be extremely proud of its creation and upkeep. I constantly tell other Quality Professionals about the cove and the information and assistance available here. If it was to be profit driven, I don't believe we would maintain the supply of unbiased opinions and information which is given freely by some of the best Quality Gurus on the planet. Keep up the great work.
Jim G

:thanks: :applause:
 

Marc

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#8
<snip> the supply of unbiased opinions and information which is given freely by some of the best Quality Gurus on the planet. <snip>
The above is the critical factor. Advertising does pay for the "machine". Without either one of the two Elsmar would simply not work.

I didn't have advertising until 2004, and wish I didn't have to have advertisements now. But, this isn't Wikipedia. For it to continue advertising money became, and is, a necessity.

NOTE: My comment is *not* in any way an incentive for anyone to click ads thinking they're doing me a favor. Unless you are really interested in a product it works against me. I do not want so much of a 'hint' of, or "an appearance of", "click fraud".
 
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v9991

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#9
The above is the critical factor. Advertising does pay for the "machine". Without either one of the two Elsmar would simply not work.

I didn't have advertising until 2004, and wish I didn't have to have advertisements now. But, this isn't Wikipedia. For it to continue advertising money became, and is, a necessity.

NOTE: My comment is *not* in any way an incentive for anyone to click ads thinking they're doing me a favor. Unless you are really interested in a product it works against me. I do not want so much of a 'hint' of, or "an appearance of", "click fraud".
You are making it look very simple...that is the trait of true achievers/believers/leaders...:thanx:

Your perseverence and enthusiastic-committed participation from others is making this happen.
Once again THANK YOU - CONGRATULATIONS - I sincerely cherish the participation & contributions.
 
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