Apple gets innovation. Your brand? Eh, not so much.

Let’s take a quick look at Apple, a company likely to have a very Merry Christmas.

Today Apple is clearly one of the most respected brands in the world, with consumers literally lining up for each new product introduction.

The vast majority of their products are sold at full price.

Their market value is nearly $300 billion.

Two-thirds of Apple’s profits comes from products that didn’t exist 8 years ago.

Think about that last fact. Like any successful company, Apple wins with consumer and investors because of many things they do well.  But the fact that they consistently win on innovation is the most telling.

Some companies think innovation is about hiring really creative people.  Others think they can just say they are committed to innovation and it will magically happen (I’ve worked for two of these companies).

Innovation only happens by doing the work. And that takes more than committing the resources–though many companies fail to even get that part right.

It’s about ruthless experimentation. Letting remarkable trump “me too.” Celebrating failure. More doing, than saying. Defying gravity. Shipping.

So, what percentage of your company’s profits this year came from products or services that did not exist 5 years ago? Okay, how about 10 years ago?

Hmmm.  I guess we have something to add to our New Year’s resolutions.


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