spreadingscience

We are all scientists

adaptby szeke

Why Apple blinked
[Via Brainstorm Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine » Apple 2.0]

An analyst offers three reasons Apple relaxed its rules for App Store subscriptions

Scott Forestall demoing iOS 5′s Newsstand. Source: Apple Inc.

RBC’s Mike Abramsky was the first analyst out of the gate Friday to comment on Apple’s (AAPL) decision to make it easier for publishers and other content partners to offer in-app subscriptions.

[More]

This is not a case of blinking. It is not a game of chicken when a 21st century company is involved.

Companies of the industrial age play a zero sum game. Companies of the 21st play a win-win scenario.

Apple presented a policy that it felt was fair and beneficial to its customers. Which it was.

But the policy also hampered the collaborators that Apple depended on to make the subscription policy work, and to increase the reach of the App store.

Apple usually puts it customers first, something quite unusual these days, but does recognize more and more the importance of its collaborators.

Here, it listened to its collaborators and found a way to adapt its policy to create a win-win for everyone.

Too many analysts still try and describe Apple as if it was a company of the last century. They fail to see the real shape of the future here.

Apple strives to find the sweet spots of win-win. 21st Century companies adapt to create non-zero sum results.

You can also see this with their general business approach. All other hardware manufacturers play zero sum games – they have to gain market share and can only do that by taking it away from someone else. Profits seem to disappear in this setting though.

Apple plays a non-zero sum game – they are happy to have a falling part of a growing market, as long as they keep getting more profits.

Thus, Apple may only have a very small percentage of the cell phone market (4%) but they hold the majority of all the profits.

Which is more sustainable in the end? That is what a 21st century company can accomplish.

The flexibility of Apple

O’Brien: Apple’s path to the app store wasn’t a straight road – San Jose Mercury News
[Via MercuryNews.com]

The unveiling of the iPhone almost four years ago stands as a pivotal moment in computing history. The elegant design not only ushered in the mobile computing revolution, it also ignited an entire billion-dollar business based on mobile apps.

And, it is widely believed, this was all part of a master plan designed by Steve Jobs and Apple (AAPL).

But in a recent conversation with former Apple insider Bob Borchers, a very different picture emerged, one that hasn’t been reported until now. What he told me is that the mobile app ecosystem developed far differently from what Apple originally envisioned.

And it happened because Apple did two things: It listened to users. And it adapted.

[More]

An important aspect of 21st Century is adaptation – they do not get it right the first time. Apple did not have a grand plan in mind. It was just trying to create the best, most stable smartphone it could.

But, because of the iPhone’s cutting edge nature, it allowed the possibility of outside change. Originally, Apple did not envision the app store.

It listened though and adapted. And in doing so, created an ecosystem much more powerful than just the iPhone itself.

The success of the App Store, though, was dependent on Apple having so many of the pieces already in place – iOS was based on OS X, meaning that  a large number of developers could jump on the new system rapidly; iTunes already had the infrastructure to support all the needs of an App store; the hardware of the iPhone could support so much more than web apps.

The success of the App store helped lead to the success of the iPad – Apple made sure that it could run not only iPhone apps but its own.

Apple would not be in the position today if it had clamped down on the development of apps for the iPhone.

We had a wonderful group of people meeting for the first BioScience on the Brink meeting at the Eastlake Bar and Grill.

About 25 people attended, enjoying the hamburgers, potato skins, beer and the SUN! Yep, that big yellow ball came out and actually warmed us all up.

Yet Chris Fox’s presentation on adjuvant research at the Infectious Disease Research Institute was able to pull almost everyone inside to listen.

We had some wonderful conversations, with a pretty overwhelming desire to continue these events. I am already working on the next one to be held in around September.

Below are some pictures from the meeting. Hope to see you there next time.

Some quick photos before the event got started.

BoB outside

BoB inside

Chris Fox and adjuvants

BoB fox

And his rapt audience

BoB audience

Describing a 21st century company

Codifying asymmetry: How Apple became Jobsian
[Via asymco]

Any student of organizational theory must struggle with the question of how to assign weight to the influence of the leadership of a company. In the case of Apple, the question is:

Is Jobs is the embodiment of Apple or is Apple already Jobsian, imbued with his ethos?

John Gruber summed up the “Apple is Jobsian” argument by saying that Apple is Steve Jobs’ greatest creation and that he has been working on crafting the company as much as he has been crafting products. The result being that it’s well designed for sustainable longevity.

[More]

Apple seems to be taking positive steps to understand why it works the way it does. As I have written several times, it is one of the first 21st century companies. I worked at another – Immunex.

The hallmark of these companies is the ability to do more with less. Their efficiencies mean they stay focussed on what really works, Much of the management of Apple has internalized these values. The simple, not the complex. Admit mistakes and move on. Deep collaboration and cross pollination.

One other – something Immunex also did well – is to focus on what NOT to do. Figuring out rapidly what does not work, examining the project to see what not to do, provides opportunity savings that can be critical with small groups. Failing quickly and successfully is a key. This is something much larger companies can not do.

Pixar does many of the same things. I wrote more in depth in my series about the Synthetic Company. (1, 2, 3)

Margaret Wheatley said it best in her essay  on The Unplanned Organization:

I also want to emphasize that emergent organizations are leader-full, not leaderless. Leaders emerge and recede as needed. Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.

That is why Apple will do fine without Jobs, just as Pixar will do fine and why any 21st century organizations will succeed – the community is the leader. They can adapt to things that come at them and are resilient to changes.

20th Century companies often lived or died by their CEO. Not so for 21st Century companies. They live or die by the community that has been created.

We will see more of these as time goes on because they will be the successful organizations dealing with the complexities of this century.

Where the App economy began

appby merfam

The Class That Built Apps, and Fortunes
[Via NYT > NYTimes.com Home]

In 2007, the “Facebook Class” at Stanford created free apps for millions of users. But it also fired up the careers of many students and pioneered a new model of entrepreneurship.

[More]

I was at a meeting in 2008 where this class was first described. It was so fascinating I took no notes. Here is what I wrote afterwards:

I just listened to most of this (no notetaking) because it was just an incredible story. some good lessons. Many crummy trials better than deep thinking. Students that shared the most were also at top of lists of apps.

Generated close to $1 million in revenue, several companies started, etc.

Novelty is not best approach. Sometimes best to copy what is out there. Today’s metrics are not the best.

You can LEARN to create a winning app. many stanford’s teams were successful.

Used chaos cycle – trials, evaluate, assets, inspire, trials. Faster could run cycle, faster reached peak. like evolution.

Mass interpersonal persuasion now possible. Created $10 million in value in 10 weeks.

Better to have a rapid development cycle than think things fully through. The ones who shared the most made the most.

Rapid development cycles. Thse that share the most made the most. Learn what works instead of just decide before. Use chaos to your advantage.

What these students found in 2007 is now a part of the economy. Just look at the App Store. This approach to business will expand to many other areas.

Rapid cycles of learning and knowledge will produce better decisions.

[Crossposted at A Man with A PhD]

thinkerby Brian Hillegas

Is Reasoning Built for Winning Arguments, Rather Than Finding Truth?
[Via The Intersection]

How is this for timing? Just as my Mother Jones piece on motivated reasoning came out, the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences devoted an entire issue to the case for an “argumentative theory” of reason, advanced by Hugo Mercier of the University of Pennsylvania and Dan Sperber of the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris. You can’t get the article over there without a subscription, but it’s also available at SSRN, and here is the abstract:

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. Poor performance in standard reasoning tasks is explained by the lack of argumentative context. When the same problems are placed in a proper argumentative setting, people turn out to be skilled arguers. Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views. This explains the notorious confirmation bias. This bias is apparent not only when people are actually arguing, but also when they are reasoning proactively from the perspective of having to defend their opinions. Reasoning so motivated can distort evaluations and attitudes and allow erroneous beliefs to persist. Proactively used reasoning also favors decisions that are easy to justify but not necessarily better. In all these instances traditionally described as failures or flaws, reasoning does exactly what can be expected of an argumentative device: Look for arguments that support a given conclusion, and, ceteris paribus, favor conclusions for which arguments can be found.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences contains not only the paper by Mercier and Sperber, but also a flurry of expert responses and then a response from the authors. SSRN does too, and there is a site devoted to this idea as well.

[More]

Anyone who has seen a debate between a scientist and a creationist knows of this dynamic. Most creationist’s arguments take the form of legal rhetorical debates while scientists argue from a very different perspective. They usually present information and try to enhance the knowledge of the those around so they can make their own decision. Creationists argue to support their views using the same sorts of techniques used to validate a guilty verdict. The goal is not to impart information but to drive a decision using the best argumentative tools.

Science does not work that way. At least it tries not to. Thus is often loses in these reasoning sessions.

I would argue that the idea of reasoning used in this report is a very different one than a scientist would use when saying reasoning. Not that I disagree with its point and the idea that these sorts of reasoning arguments in a social setting could be very important for human survival.

But science – our tool for understanding the world around us – has spent the last 400 years moving away from these sorts of arguments and approach to reasoning. Science is not decided by who has the best argumentative personality or knows the best tricks of rhetoric. It is decided by facts that represent the natural world, not just our logical arguments.

Some of the most dramatic debates in science history actually rely on these sorts of reasoning arguments. The debate between Huxley and Wilberforce is one of them. Or Darrow and Bryan.

But these great debates are only remembered because the science was right, not that the argument was.

A large part of the modern scientific enterprise is to reduce this sort of reasoning to a minimum. Not that it is gone in the least. Scientists often use every single aspect of reasoning when discussing their work. But there have to be facts and a real connection to reality.

No matter how forcefully Pons and Fleischmann ‘reasoned’ about cold fusion, it did not make it real. That is why virtually every scientist will lose in a reasoned debate with a lawyer on a topic. We recognize that no matter how strong our arguments are, nor as data-filled, they will always be provisional at same level. That weakens them in a debate with someone having a hardened argument

There will always be a segment of grey, no matter how well defined the rest is. Reasoning from that viewpoint will almost always lose in a debate with someone who can argue from only a single shade.

When framed as a black and white debate, having shades of gray make you look weak along with your argument.

To win such a reasoning argument, a researcher often has to take a rhetorical position that is somewhat anathema to their viewpoint.

They have to remove the shades of grey that all researchers know exist. They must argue from a black and white view. But this often alienates other researchers while not really providing a satisfying argument.

I think this is why so many scientists are poor communicators – not when it comes to talking about the science but when it comes to arguing about decisions.

Science takes data and creates information. Transformation of information by the sorts of reasoning mentioned above results in knowledge. Knowledge allows us to make decisions. Wisdom is about making the right decision. Science can helps us with knowledge by providing information but it cannot always prevail in a purely rhetorical setting. It is good at creating information but not well prepared for the transformation of information into the knowledge needed to make a decision.

Perhaps what researchers need is not better communication skills but better training in how to present their scientific arguments in this sort of arena of reasoning – helping transfer the information they create into the knowledge needed to make the decisions in society.

I think this is where Mooney and Nisbet’s ideas of framing come from. Not to deny the science or to ignore the facts. But to find a way to permit scientific arguments to get a fair hearing in these sorts of argumentative settings that determine just what decisions get made.

We are working on getting researchers to be better presenters and speakers of their science. We need to actually be training them how to enter these reasoning arguments in a way that can benefit us all. Because their attempts at the moment are ham-handed and not helping move us forward.

They need to be given a rhetorical arsenal that allows them to enter these reasoning sessions that will be crticial for our survival.

Register for BioScience on the Brink in Seattle, WA  on Eventbrite

Check out the news section of the registration page to see why the Early Bird tickets are $3 off for a limited time.

What happens when the brightest researchers in Seattle get together to talk, eat, drink and listen to each other?

Join us May 24 for the organizational meeting of BioScience on the Brink. Science exchange overlooking Lake Union.

Seattle has a tremendous number of researchers working on a wide variety of projects covering biosciences. Meet some of them.

In both for-profit and non-profit research settings they are exploring problems in  global health, biotechnology, bioinformatics and much more. Discuss their work.

Science on the Brink will be an informal space for them to talk with peers and to hear presentations from this vast array of scientists. Exchange knowledge.

Science on the Brink will provide  a place where young researchers, working hard at the bench, can connect with other scientists who are perhaps developing novel drugs, designing clinical trials or perhaps even selling pharmaceuticals.They will be working at non-profit institutions or for-profit corporations. There might even be some interested laypeople in the mix.

The plan is to have an opportunity for networking with some good food and drink, along with a couple of short (20 minute) presentations by working researchers. This will generally not  be a place for CEOs and department heads to present. They have many opportunities to do that. These presentations will be for the younger scientists – the scientific leaders of tomorrow.

This organizational meeting is to gauge the enthusiasm for such an event and to discuss future ideas. We are asking for a nominal fee in order to cover some of the costs for food and for the venue. However, the ticket price will be discounted – and SpreadingScience will pay all service fees – until May 10.

The Eastlake Bar and Grill  is centrally located to the greatest concentration of researchers. It has a great deck overlooking Lake Union which should be fabulous in May.

This should be an invigorating meeting in a wonderful location. If you would like to have some critical input into the future of these meetings, be sure to attend.

Hurry. Space is limited.

Supporting Partners:

 

Founding Sponsors:

The management style of Steve Jobs

mac os xby bizmac

How Mac OS X Came To Be [Exclusive 10th Anniversary Story] | Cult of Mac
[Via Cult of Mac]

Mac OS X celebrates its tenth birthday today. The groundbreaking operating system was introduced to the public on March 24, 2001. Mac OS X helped reverse Apple’s fortunes in the desktop PC market, and has underpinned a lot of Apple’s subsequent success. Most importantly, it spawned iOS, which runs today’s iPads and iPhones.

Below is the story of how OS X’s game-changing interface came about. The story gives some insight into corporate creativity at Apple. OS X’s interface started as a side project. But as soon as Steve Jobs got wind of it, it was fast-tracked. Jobs became intimately involved in its development — a scary prospect for the programmers working on it.

[More]

There are some great insights throughout the article. One is his abrasive manner, something like a drill sergeant. It seems that he is  interested in how people respond to really withering criticism. In one, the interface designer had provided some mockups for a new Mac interface at a retreat where he was pretty much laughed at because the work would be too hard.

Two weeks later [after a presentation on some of his interface ideas] Ratzlaff got a call from Steve Jobs’s assistant. Jobs hadn’t seen the mockups at the off-site—he hadn’t attended—but now he wanted a peek. At the time, Jobs was still conducting his survey of all the product groups. Ratzlaff and his designers were sitting in a conference room waiting for Jobs, when he walked in and immediately called them “a bunch of amateurs.”

“You’re the guys who designed Mac OS, right?” he asked them. They sheepishly nodded yes. “Well, you’re a bunch of idiots.”

Think about that. The head of the company calls a meeting with your group, walks in and calls you names. How would you you respond?

Jobs reeled off all the things he did not like in the about the interface, mostly things that he did not like about Ratzlaff’s area. But Ratzlaff had a key insight: “I figure he’s not going to fire us, because that would’ve happened already,.”

They picked themselves up and began to figure out how to succeed. They stood their ground and fought for their ideas. Jobs had seen the mockups so he knew that these guys could come up with interesting ideas. But he had to know if they would be capable of actually implementing them. How hard would they fight for them, especially if he provided his support? If he gave them a lead, would they fight to get these ideas implemented – which would take a huge amount of work – or fall back into the safety of committees, as so often happens. That is what this meeting was about.

And Jobs was satisfied. For the moment. All the guys knew that they now needed to implement these ideas. They worked for three weeks, at all hours, to make mockups of what they could do. When Jobs looked at the work, he gave them the whole afternoon with him. That is simply a huge amount of time for a head of a company to give to a project that was so young. Jobs’ insight was to realize the huge importance for the company if they got the interface right. This is what people would actually see, not all the great stuff under the hood. Instead of grafting on the old interface – which is what Apple had been doing – he wanted a whole new one.

After an afternoon, he knew it could be done. During this meeting, he told Ratzlaff, “This is the first evidence of three-digit intelligence at Apple I’ve seen yet.”

From idiots to geniuses in 3 short weeks. That is how you respond to the demands of a leader like Jobs.

Not all leadership styles could be the same as Jobs’, nor should they be. But the underlying point for really creative people is this: Nothing less than the very best should be acceptable. How you motivated creative talent to do that may differ but that motivation needs to be there.

I wrote about this when I discussed Edward Tufte. He was talking about the Macintosh and Windows interfaces. He revealed why the design of the Mac was so much better than Windows. I wrote:

Tufte was discussing the different interfaces between the Mac OS and Windows. After going through a lot of the pluses he saw in the Mac and a lot of the minuses in Windows, he stated that the Mac looked like it had been created by one or a small group of people with a single purpose, a single view of how the information should be presented, while Windows looked like it had been done by a committee.

He then said that all the best presentations were this way – a single point of view forcefully pushed onto everyone. Someone in the audience then asked but what happens if your single point of view turns out to be wrong, to not work.

Tufte replied, simply, “You should be fired.” You could almost audibly hear the intake of everyone’s breath. That is exactly what they feared and why they would always want to retreat into committee decisions – they can’t be fired if the committee made the decision.

The creative, the innovative do not really fear failure, often because they are adaptable enough to ‘route around the damage’ quickly enough. They do not usually doubt the mission they are on and are certainly not uncertain about the effects. Read about the development of the Mac. They were going to change the world, no doubt about it. While you can see that there really was a focus of vision, there are also lots of ‘failures’ that had to be fixed. The key was to fail quickly, leaving time to find success.

And permitting committed individuals to find their own way to success rather than rely on committees to fix them.

Jobs’ methods may be abrasive but there is a point. The types of individuals that Jobs is looking for – those who can creatively connected to the single vision needed for success and who are adaptable enough to make that vision a reality –  do not respond to his manner by trying to hide in committees. They stand right up, against all outside pressure, and try to find a solution.

And that is why they succeed.

 

$76 billion a year from a tableful of products
[Via asymco]

During the calendar year 2010 Apple spent nearly $2 billion in R&D. That is a significant increase from $714 million in 2006. However, as a percent of sales, R&D spending has decreased. Sales have grown more rapidly than resources hired to develop the products (or to sell them).

In Q4 2005 Operational Expenses (costs which are not tied directly to units of production–sometimes called fixed costs) were 14.2% of sales. In the last quarter of 2010, the ratio was 9.2%. Sales and administrative expenses (which include advertising, promotion and overhead) were 7.1% and R&D (which includes all engineering, testing) were 2.2%. As percent of sales both reached new lows.

[More]

I mentioned this last week but this is a nice graph to see trends.

This remark was pretty cool to think about:

The efficiency with which Apple creates sales is legendary. There can be many explanations for this but the most telling evidence of causality I can find is the small number of products in the portfolio. Tim Cook stated that given the sales value, there is more concentration of product at Apple than at any other company except perhaps an oil company. All the products Apple sells can fit on one average sized kitchen table and they generated $76 billion in sales last year.

I’ve written about Apple’s approaches, as well as those of other 21st Century companies. One of the  key aspects is their efficiency – they produce a huge amount of innovative work that belies the small size of their research groups. Pixar is another example.

I worked for a company that accomplished this – Immunex. We were able to compete with much larger companies by focussing our research efforts very tightly. Not that we only worked on a few things. We worked on a lot of them.

But we only allowed a very few to pass through to real development. We did this by having a very open and transparent vetting process for projects. We examined every research project 3 times a year in a process that could be attended by everyone.

What this did is make it very hard to carry on projects purely for political reasons. In many companies, a powerful sponsor could take possession of a project and push it through, resulting in something that dies on the market; in these companies, politcal pull can bemore important than actual innovation.

Because of the social aspect of our vetting, it became much harder to say that a project would continue “Because I said so” when everyone could see that another project held better value. It decreased the ability of politicians to get a project approved.

And, since everyone’s views were heard, people could understand why a decision was made – it was made in public.

We worked hard to kill projects or put them on the backburner. But it was all done in public. And then we allowed every scientist to spend a percentage of their time working on a project – any project – that they wanted to. This not only allowed people to continue for a time even on killed projects, hoping to rejuvenate them, but allowed really creative ideas to be examined.

But, after a certain time, each of these were vetted in public. If they did not pass the public test, they were scrapped.

We developed a lot of innovative ways to foster creativity but the most important was making the discussions and decisions open to anyone, make the important decisions as early as possible and make them public.

I don’t know if Apple does the latter but it seems likely they do the former, as this from asymco suggests:

Most observers of technology are not aware of the pace of its development. It’s natural to assume that most R&D costs are in the product creation, or early phases of development. Coming up with something new must be hard. But that’s not actually true. Most R&D work is routine polishing of products and coordination late in the development cycle. “Productization” is far more resource intensive than “concepting”.

This is absolutely true – coming up with ideas is easy; making them happen is hard.

It stands to reason that making go/no-go decisions early in the pipeline is a lot less expensive than making stop-ship decisions prior to launch.

I have no specific evidence that this is the case, but I guess Apple conceives of plenty of concepts, but chooses to move forward to develop and market very few. Most companies don’t have the ability to decide early and proceed with costly R&D and marketing in order to find out whether products will “work” in the marketplace. The proliferation of flawed products is a big cause of the inefficiency of product development.

Look at so many companies. They put out lots of products hoping the market will decide which is best. They want consumers to do the hard work. How did the Kin see the light of day? Many companies just can not kill a project that has emotional and political connections. So they let it slump on through, hoping that the market sees potential.

That is why, a year after the iPad, we have 100 different copy cats, while in the years before the Ipad there was just nothing even close. Most companies have no real idea of what is successful to they copy other’s success.

But Apple, like Immunex, repeats innovation time and again because it has developed a process of killing things that do not work and, if they can, killing them before they progress very far. They may not always succeed – they have had failures – but they usually know why it failed.

I worked for a company that came up with innovative solutions for years –again and again – so I know that what Apple is doing is not only working but is reproducible.

That is what separates a 21st Century Company from a 20th Century one.

appleby leoncillo sabino

Reasons for Apple’s Greatness? How ‘Bout The Cook Doctrine?
[Via Mactropolis.com - Your Friendly Global Mac Community]

Asymco has a great post up titled simply ‘The Cook Doctrine’. It’s a compilation of statements from Tim Cook in a financial earnings call (for Q1 2009), while he was the Acting CEO for Apple during Steve Jobs’ leave of absence.

We believe that we’re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that’s not changing.

We’re constantly focusing on innovating.

We believe in the simple, not the complex.

We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.

We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.

And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.

Taken together, these add up to one hell of a great company philosophy. They also offer cause for optimism on the company’s prospects even when Steve Jobs is no longer in charge.

[More]

I’ve written about what some 21st Century companies will look like – The Synthetic Company part 1, part 2 and part 3.

And the strength of these organizations is that the core principles are not dependent on just one charismatic man at the top of the hierarchy.

Cook gets is. As did Lassiter at Pixar, another 21st century company until bought out by Disney. As I wrote back then:

In the Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen discusses the difficulty organizations have in utilizing disruptive technology in novel ways. The dilemma is that often the same processes that helped make them successful now prevent them from making the leap to a new technology set. See Clay Shirky’s article on the collapse of business models for some examples.

Even when they know that they have to change and even what the changes must be, they almost always fail in making the leap.

That is mainly in the way they are organized, how they are run and the types of communities they represent.

Yet companies that have Steve Jobs organizing them seem to have been able to do this. Apple defined personal computing, it defined the graphic user interface, the laptop, the MP3 player, the smartphone, the tablet computer. Pixar defined computer generated animation.

By creating organizations where innovations are not shuttled through layers of middle management, with each layer sucking the originality out, Jobs has been able to drive disruptive innovations rather than react to them.

The most amazing thing to me is that Apple has succeeded in being a market leader during two separate paradigm shifting market wars – first the graphical user interface wars between Apple vs Microsoft and now the Internet as interface wars between Apple vs Google. Microsoft’s inability to become a major player in the new way of the world is an example of corporations failing to make the leap, of suffering the Innovator’s Dilemma.

One important aspect of these sorts of  21st Century companies is that their strength is their community. It is very hard to alter the principles of a strong, cohesive community – living in Seattle I can still see the strong Scandinavian culture present, not only in businesses but in politics.

It looks like Cook certainly gets it.