Sunday, June 10, 2007

Network Innovation - a lesson from Apple

Innovation | Lessons from Apple | "This approach, known as “network innovation”, is not limited to electronics. It has also been embraced by companies such as Procter & Gamble, BT and several drugs giants, all of which have realised the power of admitting that not all good ideas start at home. Making network innovation work involves cultivating contacts with start-ups and academic researchers, constantly scouting for new ideas and ensuring that engineers do not fall prey to “not invented here” syndrome, which always values in-house ideas over those from outside."

Network Innovation is well described in Wikinomics - with its core principles Open, P2P,Sharing, Global. - Apple appears to have its cake and eat it, violating the key principle of openness, but gaining innovative advantage through adopting other's innovations( think Xerox Altos) and focusing on sleek, sexy,fashionable design.

iTunes is the newest version of Apple's network innovation. Its almost hidden agenda is its insertion as a virus-like component on the Windows platform where, unexpected, it resides as a remora . iTunes and the soon to be shipped iPhone
are stealth invaders of the Windows platform - where any iTunes enabled device, MAC or PC is "recognized" and connected to share any iTunes content. It is a network innovation of mostly unseen and unexpected scope - imagine an Apple networking widget on every Mac and Windows PC. That's iTunes - and guess where iPhone will connect as a Network Innovation?

Who knew?

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