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Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

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Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple - Case Study

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Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

  1. 1. Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple -Manas Ranjan Tripathy MBA International Business
  2. 2. Apple • During 1970’s, computers were used by Governments or Large Companies and were mostly handled by specialists • The notion that computers can be used for individual use was unimaginable • Apple Computer, Inc was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Robert Wayne with a goal to create computers that supported and fostered individual work • Their aim was to reduce complexity to make potential customers fall in love with the computer
  3. 3. Design Thinking • Design Thinking is a solution-oriented method used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients
  4. 4. Apple’s Aim To create computers for individual use Make computers simple to use Make people fall in love with their products
  5. 5. Apple’s Approach • Simplicity in Design and Use: Figure out the needs of people Achieve it technically through creativity and innovation Take care of smallest details No compromise on functionality “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” E.g.- The simple iPod design had unreplicated success • Beyond Fashion: Create product that can express itself on the outside as well Tap into popular and fashionable trends E.g.- G4 Cube
  6. 6. Apple Timeline • 1976- Founded • 1978- Apple II • 1984- Macintosh Ad (Superbowl) • 1985- Steve Jobs Axed from Operations Role • 1985-1997- Varied Regimes (Dwindling Profits) • 1997- Steve Jobs Returns • 1998- IMac debut Apple II 1984 Superbowl Ad IMac
  7. 7. Product Development Strategy and Execution • Early Years: Products developed from scratch and had unique hardware with proprietary OS Apple’s market share fell after IBM entered the PC Market and Steve Jobs was axed • During 1985-1997: Constant change in strategy due to change in regime On account of competition from IBM-cloned devices, company was not able to decide which products to develop and produce Debates on licensing Mac OS and entering unknown segments like the Business Market (dominated by Windows and Intel) Some success like the PowerBook (1990) Many failures like the Newton PDA Approaches resembling other companies were seen Complexity and confusion increased for Apple and its Customers (Too many products developed)
  8. 8. Product Development Strategy and Execution (After Jobs Return) Excellence in Execution  Immediately after return Licensing Program was stopped, 70% of New Projects were scrapped, manufacturing was moved abroad and a website was launched for direct sales  Quest for “Insanely Great Products” resumes  Tim Cook assigned to clean up manufacturing and distribution Platform Strategy  Create a Platform or Architecture that can accommodate development and production of derivative products (Both H/W and S/W)  Shared or Reuse of Assemblies  High Efficiency, Lower Costs, Simplicity  Benefits to Apple, its Suppliers and its Customers Customer Involvement  Design based on Users needs and Desires  Participatory Design  More User Testing creates smoother software  Cut-Paste and editable Dialog Box were innovations which cropped up due to Customer involvement Beautiful Products  Passion and close attention to new materials and manufacturing techniques to continuously create beautiful products  After making the successful ‘pristine white iPod’, they went on to create colorful iPods using different materials and a new production technique
  9. 9. CEO as Chief Innovator • Jobs ‘Design Sense’ was Confident and Refined • He was committed to finding “a beautiful elegant solution that worked” • Because of him Apple focused on problem solving for individuals when the trend in 1980s was creating enterprise solutions • Jobs had hands on involvement in decision making, from strategy to product and service design to packaging • Jobs was the Front Man to dramatically introduce products to the customers in extravagant events
  10. 10. Bold Experimentations • “Play it safe, that’s the most dangerous thing we can do. We have to get bolder…” • Entered Retail business at a time when everyone was moving online • Stores opened at prime locations with Tech Repair Guys called “geniuses” who serviced phones at the “bar” • The concept took off as foot traffic (Apple and Non- Apple customers) were drawn to these elegant surroundings that hosted beautiful products • Apple Stores generated highest revenue per square foot in entire retail sector
  11. 11. The Path Less Trodden • Even as the rest of the world moved towards open source systems, Apple still makes softwares and chips in-house • They keep product launches secret • Very few apps have been developed by Apple for its App Store • Apple has eliminated features in the name of progress • Still Apple is able to create and sell products people want by constantly learning and adapting
  12. 12. The Way Ahead for Apple • In order to sustain itself, Apple will have to continue to come out with innovative products • It should try to expand to newer segments as it has done before • It should continue to stick to the ideologies of Steve Jobs and create elegant solutions
  13. 13. What to take away from the case? • Be solution oriented and innovative • Adapt to changes • Take Risks

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