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Innovation: What Does it Really Mean?

Posted by Gaby Isturiz on January 9, 2014 at 5:00 AM

16943623_sA few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Businessweek. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you can find it here. When the transcript of this interview was published, our team was chomping at the bit. We passed the link around to team members and added commentary via reply-all for a few days. While we pay special attention to any news in tech (especially a new IOS release, which directly affects our products), what fascinated us about this particular interview was the focus on innovation.

There is no argument that the term innovation achieved and has since maintained buzzword status many years ago. The challenge with using and understanding the term is that there are so many misconceptions about what innovation truly means.

As a technology company, we often cite our “commitment to innovation” in press releases and other marketing communications materials. But, what does that really mean?

In this post, we’ll explore the topic of innovation as discussed in Tim Cook’s recent interview with Businessweek as we interpret it - what innovation truly is and what it is not. 

  • Innovation is not change. Change is constant. While change keeps the world moving forward, change does not necessarily mean better. Change for the sake of change is not innovation.
  • Innovation is making things better. In the interview, Cook describes the process of considering every detail of the user experience and using that information to create the best experience possible. A true commitment to innovation is a drive toward constant improvement that will enhance the end-user experience.
  • Innovation isn’t about you (the company). It’s about them (the customer). In order to create the best possible end-user experience, a company has to align itself with the customer. The experience is for the customer. Service to the customer drives innovation.
  • Innovation is both value and values. The product is a reflection of the company’s values in the way that it delivers value to the end user. 
  • Successful innovation is measured in quality, not quantity. In the interview, Cook said “There is a huge difference between market share of units and usage share.” He continued, “We have never been about selling the most. We’re about selling the best and having the best experience and having the happiest customers.”

One of the reasons that we loved this interview is because it reinforces the points that drive us in our work everyday. Since iTimeKeep’s inception, we’ve worked to create a mobile time entry solution that attorneys will want to use. 

What do you think about Cook’s ideas about innovation and how we’ve interpreted them above? Share your thought in the comments section below.

Topics: Innovation

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