This month’s leadership quote:

“Innovation is hard because ‘solving a problem people didn’t know they had’

and ‘building something no one needs’ look identical at first.”

-Aaron Levine

Steve Jobs is noted for “solving a problem people didn’t know they had” time after time, first with the Mac, then ITunes, the IPhone, the IPad, etc. etc. And most of us will acknowledge that Steve was a rare genius. So… what can the rest of us mere mortals learn from Steve about innovation? Here’s what I observed that Steve did:

  • He was focused – He started with the desktop and it wasn’t until he built that market that he designed products for other needs, with his first big breakthrough the IPhone 
  • He was observant – He carefully watched what his customer did, saw the gaps, watched what was frustrating for them
  • He was determined – I recall reading that when he first came up with the idea of ITunes there were many barriers to making it happen, one by one, he broke through them all

While coming up with the innovative idea may initially seem to be the hard part, my sense is innovation is like everything else in business, it’s executing on the right things at the right time.

Elisa K. Spain


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