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Apple are copping a lot of shit at the moment.
If you read the press, you’d think they were Blackberry rather than one of the most influential – and profitable – companies on earth.
Sure, things may not be as progressive as they once were, but then innovation tends to slow down when a category becomes more mature.
Now I know what you’re thinking …
“But Samsung are continually bringing out new features and functions”
… and I’d be forced to agree with you …. however I recently read an interview with Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi that, for me, had a lovely perspective on how they view the whole ‘innovation race’.
“It’s not just about new features, but also the deep layers of integration that goes into each one. There are so many problems that have to be solved to enable one big idea. We don’t start with 10 bits of technology that we try to find a use for so we can add them to our features list”.
OK, so you could argue that it’s in their interests to say that, but then Federighi added something that I think gets to the crux of the matter:
“New is easy. Right is hard.”
I love that. I utterly love that.
I also think it’s a good definition of what’s wrong with adland.
In our quest to look interesting or relevant [mainly to our peers], we tend to chase new when what we should be looking for, is right.
Of course, ‘right’ is relative – and in no way am I suggesting we should stop looking for ways to continually push boundaries and possibilities – however one of the reasons business continually questions adlands value is because we often give the impression we’re more focused on doing stuff that makes our peers stand up and applaud rather than creating stuff that inspires and encourages society to act in ways that have genuine commercial value for our clients.
In other words, whereas so many focus on trying to be cool, the truly influential are obsessed with creating clever because – as the guys at Apple say – anyone can do new, it’s doing – and executing – what’s right, that’s right.
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