Eight Years of Innovation

By January 14, 2015Financial Planning

It’s hard to believe the iPhone is eight years old this month and it’s hard to imagine daily life without it or the Android technology that was spurned by its invention. I conduct nearly all of my banking from my phone now, it’s my only camera, and primary source for news, weather, and the sharing of information.  Like most people, I do not have a home phone anymore and I expect to completely do away with my office phones in the next few years.  In contrast, my fairly new Windows 8 laptop does not even remotely come close to providing the same level of ease and efficiency.

How did they do it?

I doubt if I (or Microsoft) will ever be able to create such a magnificent client experience the way Apple did, but maybe there are some takeaways that can help us get close:

  1. Do what makes life easier for my client, not for me: My job is to create value for other people. Sometimes we forget this and try to force clients into systems and processes that save us money and time, instead of the other way around. The sales pitch at the end of an AT&T service call, never-ending phone prompts, and Dynamic Pricing of airline tickets are all examples of forcing customers into unfriendly systems and processes. The open architecture of the App Store is just the opposite.

  2. Create with confidence: Be confident in what I believe is the right direction for my business and pursue it with passion. That’s what Steve Jobs did while other CEO’s still timidly test the waters with focus groups, client surveys, and public opinion polls. Execution with confidence and passion wins out over the best laid strategies.

  3. Never settle. The iphone is not a single innovation, rather it’s a conglomeration of a multitude of complex systems that all had to come together in order to achieve glorious success. It’s the hard work of pushing through barriers to achieve what is envisioned that makes the difference. “Good enough” should not be an option as we continuously improve upon each of our own contributions to society.

Pretty intense stuff! I hope I can show up for work each day with some of these things in mind. The payoff can be worthwhile, by the way. Iphone sales alone are expected to account for 43 billion dollars in revenue for Apple in just the last three months of 2014. That’s almost twice the revenue for all of Microsoft Corp. in the same quarter.

 

RS