Archive for October 22nd, 2011
Fast Company is tracking developments in The Great Tech War of 2012 for 30 days after this story’s original publication to show just how quickly competition between Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon is heating up. Follow the updates here.
Gilbert Wong, the mayor of Cupertino, California, calls his city council to order. “As you know, Cupertino is very famous for Apple Computer, and we’re very honored to have Mr. Steve Jobs come here tonight to give a special presentation,” the mayor says. “Mr. Jobs?” And there he is, in his black turtleneck and jeans, shuffling to the podium to the kind of uproarious applause absent from most city council meetings. It is a shock to see him here on ground level, a thin man amid other citizens, rather than on stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center with a larger-than-life projection screen behind him. He seems out of place, like a lion ambling through the mall.
“Apple is growing like a weed,” Jobs begins, his voice quiet and sometimes shaky. But there’s nothing timorous about his plan: Apple, he says, would like to build a gargantuan new campus on a 150-acre parcel of land that it acquired from Hewlett-Packard in 2010. The company has commissioned architects–“some of the best in the world”–to design something extraordinary, a single building that will house 12,000 Apple employees. “It’s a pretty amazing building,” Jobs says, as he unveils images of the futuristic edifice on the screen. The stunning glass-and-concrete circle looks “a little like a spaceship landed,” he opines.
Nobody knew it at the time, but the Cupertino City Council meeting on June 7, 2011, was Jobs’s last public appearance before his resignation as Apple’s CEO in late August (and his passing in early October). It’s a fitting way to go out. When completed in 2015, Apple’s new campus will have a footprint slightly smaller than that of the Pentagon; its diameter will exceed the height of the Empire State Building. It will include its own natural-gas power plant and will use the grid only for backup power. This isn’t just a new corporate campus but a statement: Apple–which now jockeys daily with ExxonMobil for the title of the world’s most valuable company–plans to become a galactic force for the eons.
And as every sci-fi nerd knows, you totally need a tricked-out battleship if you’re about to engage in serious battle.
Continue reading here…
Last week, we published a chart-essay that illustrates the extreme inequality that has developed in the US economy over the past 30 years.
The charts explain what the Wall Street protesters are angry about. They also explain why the protesters’ message is resonating with the country at large.
Here are the four key points:
1. Unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression (with the exception of a brief blip in the early 1980s).
Whether they’re dealing in cars or cookies or computers, companies typically struggle with how to effectively and reliably create innovative products and services. Often, they discover that the greatest challenges aren’t in coming up with big ideas but in the organizational and management issues that these new ideas present.
Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School has done some phenomenal work on disruptive innovations and how they differ from sustaining offerings. At Jump, we have built on this foundation, developing a framework to help folks figure out how to bring new ideas to market, create more realistic testing and growth expectations, and better manage their innovation pipelines. This requires identifying what types of innovations you have, what you need, and how to nurture and grow them all.
The Three Types of Innovations
Sustaining products and services are the kinds of innovations companies often need to develop just to stay in the game. These incremental innovations can be thought of as variations on a theme. For example, in the category of household cleansers, a sustaining innovation might involve making the cleaning agent 10% stronger or pairing it with a new scent.