On Innovation

Thoughts on creating and running a firm whose goal is innovation.

Upon being asked whether Apple’s mission is to innovate, Steve Jobs said, “No, we consciously think about making great products. We don’t think, Let’s be innovative… Let’s take a class! Here are five rules of innovation, let’s put them up all over the company!”*

The point: Good design is simply about making life better, simpler, easier, etc. This ergonomic approach simply tries to think of the loose ends and tie them up so that the person gets a cohesive product, instead of trying to be cute. There is a certain disconnectedness that many products have because their “cute” factor outweighs their utility factor. Good design seeks to equalize the cuteness with the utility.

New York Times, Annual Design Issue, November 30, 2003


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