Shared this with an entrepreneur friend today & thought others might like it. This short 2 min video above probably best portrays how Steve Jobs looked at product development. You don’t always have to invent something to be successful. Sometimes taking available technologies and reinventing them or reimagining them and putting together the proper pieces to make something work better is just as important.
One of the biggest criticisms of Steve Jobs was that although he has his name on over 300 patents, that he never really invented anything. This is somewhat true. Most of his products contained bits and pieces of quite a few other products or ideas that were already out there, but what he was a master at was taking those existing technologies and ideas and piecing them together into a beautiful, yet simple to use product and most importantly executed and shipped it.
There were other smartphones on the market before the iPhone, other tablets (Mirosoft was building OS’ for them for over a decade) before the iPad, the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player on the market, the mouse had already been invented and of course retail electronic store have been around forever, but what Steve helped do is reimagine how they should work, create a unified hardware/software product with an easy to use interface, masterfully market them and most importantly ship them in volume.
While some argue the late Steve Jobs shouldn’t be included in the same sentence as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford since he didn’t actually invent a lot of the products from scratch I’d say what he did do is just as important.
Steve wasn’t a coder, an engineer or designer, but he was an artist and a master salesman with the ability to connect the dots where others couldn’t and then deliver on that idea.
We all have come up with ideas we think can make us rich by inventing something, but sometimes you just have to look around you, connect the dots and improve on an existing idea.
I’d say the best way to judge this is by consumer demand. If nobody used what was already created, but then was a hit when it was reinvented… I’d say the latter is way more important.