10 years ago, the iPhone changed the world
“Every now and then a revolutionary product comes and changes everything.” Steve Jobs was right. This is how the Iphone was presented: “An iPod. A phone. And an internet communicator.”, Joining three concepts with one of creativity´s basic rules. In June, ten years ago, the iPhone began to be sold: it changed the phone industry, and also the entire economy. Without iPhone, we would not have Waze; Without Waze, there would be no Uber. A wave of innovation took us where we could not imagine.
Innovation is a difficult game, and needs conditions to develop: education, capital availability, open and competitive markets, skills network…
The state has a great responsibility in creating those premises, and Brazil, like many other countries, does not wish to do so. As an example: import taxes on electronic products. An iPhone 7 has its price in the US at about R$2,100, here in Brazil at about R$3,500. This higher cost means less diffusion, slower critical mass creation and slower market opportunity development. And the distance from the leaders gets bigger and bigger every time. Also, more barriers are added for micro-entrepreneurs: often they do not have the skills, not only to act in the new reality, but even to see what will come in the close future.
But we do not depend entirely on circumstances. While it destroys, innovation creates new opportunities, and Steve Jobs himself has shown us how to enjoy it. Jobs, Drucker (the business management´s science father) and Hewlett and Packard – with the “Garage´s Ten Commandments” – have always insisted on two factors: customer focus and creativity.
If you want success, do not think about it, think about how it can be useful.
Customer´s focus: since the IPhone´s almost complete redefinition a few months before launch, to the product packaging care obsession, all the way on how it would be the communication. The iPod was not “an MP3 player with 5 GB of memory”, it was “a thousand songs in your pocket”.
And creativity. Job´s “reality´s distortion field” became a myth. He convinced his engineers that it was possible to do something that they- some of the top industry experts -thought it was impossible. And they did it. It was not manipulation, it was the creative´s power awareness that we all have, and a challenge to minds that used to close before exploring all possibilities.
Customer focus and creativity: in this quest, innovation is required, for any sized company.
The game is not over yet
Ten years ago, we would not be able to imagine the huge impact that this little object would bring into our lives. Now it seems impossible to live without it.
But there is no finish line for innovation. We can already see next era´s signs: instead of having a thousand apps downloaded and installed on your phone, we will be able to communicate with various services using only a web chat, as the Chinese already do in WeChat. Or we’ll leave the phone aside and interact with the digital world by talking to invisible assistants – though already present – like “Amazon Echo”.
New scenarios, new changes, new opportunities …
In the end, Steve Jobs was not so much different than our peripheries micro-entrepreneurs: two young men without much money in a garage. They were not in Pirituba, but in Silicon Valley, and this makes a big difference, but it is not a factor that can stop the adventure of creating something new and better each day.