Walter Isaacson, writer of Steve Jobs life in his exclusive biography titled Steve Jobs, recently threw out the notion that Google is more innovative than Apple. During a recent CNBC interview Isaacson claimed "The greatest innovation today is coming from Google." Regardless of which technology camp you live in, objective truth be told, Google is clearly out innovating Apple, at least in a public sense. But whether Google delivers 500 innovative solutions to the public, compared to every 2 from Apple, does it really matter?
Apple and Google are companies with entirely different corporate cultures and the results manifest themselves in how these two tech giants go to market with product. Google will launch virtually any form of new idea into the market just to see what does, or does not, stick. Apple also innovates, but their technologies are kept behind closed doors, with only the rarest of products making it onto the stage of Apple's special events.
Google Glass is among the search giant's latest products to garner massive media attention, but who on this planet is buying – and wearing – these things outside of Sergey Brin? Google Buzz, Google Notebook, Google Audio Ads, Google Lively, Google Answers, Google Wave (and the list just keeps on going), are reside in Google innovation graveyard. Google Glass is hanging on as a quasi-undead product, but count on it permanently joining its brethren in the cemetery of useless ideas sooner than later.
It isn't about innovation. Anyone can innovate. Watch Shark Tank and you'll see all kinds of innovation. The material question is about who can innovate products and services businesses and consumers truly want and will use. The question is about innovation that matters.
Glimpses into Apple's Fort Knox-like development labs have revealed the company fuels dozens of skunkwork programs, but only the best and brightest ideas ever make it to light. Apple isn't a company that innovates and lets loose without care, merely to see what may or may not be successful. Apple's corporate culture is one that truly cares that their new inventions, when being released to the public, will make a long and lasting impact on, quite literally, the world. It is simply about innovation that matters. Apple lives that philosophy, Google does not.
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