Steve Job’s perspective for innovation at Apple consisted of a set of tenets that, taken together, spelt out a charter for going after big goals with single-minded focus. Jobs considered passion to be the crucible for innovation. He believed that passion would ignite minds to innovate. He believed in the creativity in connecting different concepts and platforms for ultimate business success. To Jobs, innovation consisted to making products simple, clean and user-friendly, even if the process entailed ‘saying not to 10,000’ well meaning additions. Jobs envisioned innovation to create exceptional experiences for the customer. He worked to package innovative products as aspirational dreams, instead of utility products (Gallo).
Jobs as an Innovator as Compared to Edison and Gates
While Steve Jobs is credited with the creation of the Apple Macintosh computer, Apple mobile phones, Next and Pixar, Edison is credited with 1,093 US patents. Therefore, Edison could be considered to be a more prolific innovator than Jobs. However, the era of both innovators was different, making comparisons difficult. Both Jobs and Edison leveraged the power of integration and focused on the market need more than the invention. Both attempted to innovate products required by mankind (Smith).
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates began with similar dreams – both wanted to capture the market of personal computers after the slow demise of the ubiquity of mainframe computers. While Gates created Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, Jobs’ creativity lay in modern and simple Apple products. Thus, both Jobs and Gates could be considered to be equals in the field of innovation (Anderson).
Samir Yajnik, the COO of TATA Teleservices, provides an overview of the three waves of Indian engineering in the context of TATA Technologies. Yajnik explains that the first wave involved promising work at a cheaper rate for foreign collaborators, taking advantage of the cost arbitrage opportunity. In the process, TATA Technologies emerged as a lead partner for foreign collaborators entering the Indian market. He mentions that the second wave was to create products for the large domestic Indian market. The third wave would consist of products made in India through reverse innovation that could subsequently be sold to the developed world. Bringing the three waves into context, Yajnik highlights the possibility of growth of the construction-engineering sector, and underlines the requirement of suitably skilled engineers to fuel the growth (NASSCOM).
In an interview, Ravi Nadjou lays down the contours of frugal innovation. According to Nadjou, frugal innovation is popular in emerging markets, as resources are scarce. Because of scarcity in resources, there is innovation in creating relatively inexpensive, yet popular products. Currently, the concept of frugal innovation is gaining traction in western economies, primarily fuelled by recession. The healthcare and education sectors of the US are examples of sectors where frugal innovation has caught on in the West. The requirement for universal healthcare mandated by Obamacare would require generic drugs manufactured by emerging countries to be made available to the US domestic market, creating price pressures on pharma countries. The sectors of consumer durables, automobiles and industrial conglomerates would be trying to do ‘more with less’. Frugal innovation occurs only when there are constraints. Companies could accordingly incorporate artificial constraints for frugal innovation to prosper. The end-user’s needs would be paramount while deciding upon the focus of frugal innovation. Thus, frugal innovation could be applicable to a product, service or business process. Ultimately, a frugal innovation would be enabled by a frugal mindset in an accommodative leadership. Affordability, accessibility and sustainability and high quality would be the standards of frugal innovation (FEI Innovation).
Anderson. “Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates: Who will have the Greater Legacy?” Tech.FirstPost.com. Aug 03, 2011. Web. June 25, 2015.
FEI Innovation. “Frugal Innovation: Lessons from the Emerging Markets.” YouTube. Nov 26, 2011. Web. June 25, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. (2014). “The 7 Innovative Secrets of Steve Jobs.” May 02, 2014. Web. June 25, 2015.
Nasscom. “Samir Yajnik, President Sales and COO Asia Pacific, TATA Technologies.” YouTube. Oct 11, 2013. Web. June 25, 2015.
Smith, Rick. “Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison: Who was the more influential? Aug 04, 2014. Web. June 25, 2015.