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The Seed of Innovation

Steve Jobbs remarks in the The Seed of Apple's Innovation:
"I get asked a lot why Apple's customers are so loyal. It's not because they belong to the Church of Mac! That's ridiculous.

It's because when you buy our products, and three months later you get stuck on something, you quickly figure out [how to get past it]. And you think, 'Wow, someone over there at Apple actually thought of this!' And then three months later you try to do something you hadn't tried before, and it works, and you think 'Hey, they thought of that, too.' And then six months later it happens again. There's almost no product in the world that you have that experience with, but you have it with a Mac. And you have it with an iPod."

I would say the same for Google and Microsoft. As much as we may ridicule these companies for being (or trying to become) monopolies - the truth is we all use their products because they come up with stuff that works!!

There isn't another spreadsheet tool that's as easy yet as versatile as Excel, one cannot make presentations any better than in Microsoft Powerpoint. Similarly, there isn't a search engine better than Google, and a web based email client better than GMail. No one offers you the flexibility of Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and nothing is easier to use than Google Chat. The list will go on and on ... but you get the point.

Part of the reason why these companies can come up with the best of the tools and features is that they employ best of the people. S Somasegar, Corporate VP, Microsoft Corp said in an interview
"The people at Microsoft [are] the smartest I had ever met in my life. And soon I realized that it was a great place to work in because you can thrive and learn and grow." Google too makes extra efforts in attracting the best programming and mathematical talent of the world to itself [link].

By hiring the best people they are able to harness the pool of the best ideas, best problems and and more importantly the best solutions. 37 signals writes:- "A great way to build software is to start out by solving your own problems. You'll be the target audience and you'll know what's important and what's not. That gives you a great head start on delivering a breakout product.
The key here is understanding that you're not alone. If you're having this problem, it's likely hundreds of thousands of others are in the same boat. There's your market."

Just take the example of the a feature Google released today -
Embarrassment-reducing new message notifications: Ever replied to a message only to find out that someone sent a better, smarter reply right before you? Now, if someone sends a reply while you're in the middle of reading a conversation (or replying to it), you'll get a notification that a new message has arrived. Click "update conversation" to see what you've missed.

This is a uniquee feature, solves a very pertinent problem faced by people using email. Unless someone out there within the Google Team thought this up (or after getting such idea from a user - came up with a solution in time), the feature would not have come out.

Ewing Marion puts it best - "Creating Great Companies: It's All About People"

1 Comments to " The Seed of Innovation "

  1. hey nikhil

    let me spend mroe time, here at MSFT and will let u know my thoughts too ! :)

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