I came across an article today, How Apple Went from Underdog to Cult in Six Design and Innovation Strategies from the Early Days, and immediately sent it to my go-to Apple gurus, Rob and Cecily, to ask for their thoughts.
Cecily immediately picked up on the core of the article, and what she says is the very basis for Apple's design strategy. From the article:
"Instead of looking for inspiration in the developments of its existing and potential competitors in the space of consumer technology — whether Dell, HP, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Canon, or others — Apple needed to focus on creating new ways to exploit the potential of proven technology to fulfill people’s unrealized dreams."
Rob then added:
Awesomely, Cecily is right, that IS the money statement in the whole article. Apple has NEVER invented anything. NEVER. They take the half-baked, semi-coherent things other people have done, perfect them with a simplicity that makes people go, “a-ha!” and the rest is history. The inspiration is the simplicity not the thing.
The six strategies listed though are amazing if you repurpose them for life:
1. Do what you’re good at.
2. Love your enemies.
3. Simplicity through reduction. (convergence)
4. People are best when face to face. (This is an interesting part of the DNA behind the Stores and FaceTime...)
5. Think big.
6. Be fearless.
I think what’s MOST interesting about this is they make you look at the impetus for the iPod and iPhone they’re NOT created in the way most people think… as in… “Gee, I’d like to carry around 1,000 songs in my pocket.” They created because, “Our core mission is to connect people with the things they love more simply and there are people out there who help people connect with these things but it sucks. We can do better.”
See what I mean about Apple gurus?