“‘Can’t innovate anymore, my ass,’ senior VP of product marketing Phil Schiller declared Monday after unveiling Apple’s new Mac Pro,” Justin Fox writes for Harvard Business Review. “The cylindrical black desktop is very cool-looking. But it’s the latest iteration of a high-end niche product that Apple has been selling for years. It is a textbook example of what Clayton Christensen dubs a sustaining innovation, a product aimed at existing customers that improves on what went before it and is able to demand a premium price. Except for a few dark years in the mid-1990s, Apple has always been very good at sustaining innovation. The key to its phenomenal success over the past decade, though, has been — to use Christensen’s terminology again — disruptive innovation. The iPod/iTunes combo, the iPhone, and the iPad all disrupted and redefined markets, and in the case of the iPhone and iPad created entire new ones.”
“The sustaining/disruptive dichotomy doesn’t describe everything important about innovation. It’s probably overused and certainly gets misused a lot. But it so perfectly fits the debate over Apple’s innovation quandary that it’s a little strange it doesn’t come up more often in this context,” Fox writes. “Until Apple comes out with its next big new disruptive thing, and it succeeds, the ‘Apple can’t innovate anymore’ meme will live on, whatever Phil Schiller’s ass thinks.”
Fox writes, “The harder question to answer is whether Apple can remain successful and keep growing without another disruptive innovation… Sustaining innovations may sustain Apple’s fortunes for quite a few years more. They won’t create new fortunes, though. It takes a different kind of innovation to do that.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Patience, Padawan.
iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod. iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone. Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 1 year, 9 months, and 19 days.
Designing something requires focus. It takes time.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TheloniousMac” for the heads up.]