Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Steve Jobs on Innovation, and the Power of Saying 'No'

I read this blog entry with an excerpt from an interview with Steve jobs as follows:

Q: How do you systematize innovation?

A: The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient.

But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.

And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.

I could weep at the idea that such a company really exists and really functions under such principles.

My experience tells me that usually management much prefers saying 'yes' to 1,000 things and walking away leaving a bunch of under-resourced and over-stressed people in their wake, trying to figure out how they can possibly execute!

It's more than Jobs' touting the idea of saying no. I also really appreciate that he touts that Process is not a dirty word when it comes to fostering innovation. Process is never the end, in and of itself. Process is the means to getting to your ends quicker, more economically, more accurately.

Process in its proper place rocks. And learning what to say 'no' to is just part of the process.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?