Design Thinking

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Case report---Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple
Qi YU

Q1. Why has Apple been so successful? What do you attribute it to? For several years, Apple has been ranked as the most innovative company in the world, but how it has achieved such success remains mysterious because of the company's obsession with secrecy. Now researchers and business men have found more about its success. According to the case, the main reasons are showed as following.

Product:
1. Technology innovation
Computers, music players, smartphones, etc are major products at Apple. In this field, technology is the first consideration. Constant innovation keeps Apple as the pioneer; otherwise, it cannot even exist. “Think differently”, is always what stuff at Apple do, they are always against Conventional Wisdom. “Innovation” to Apple, means both creating and eliminating. Constant learning and adaption is the reason to explain some “anti-business” behavior at Apple. However, Apple doesn’t develop the technology without any consideration. For every step it takes, it will pay attention to resources, market research, and potential feedback. Innovation always comes with risk, so Apple’s success must also attribute to its caution.

2. Product development strategy
Someone regards the products at Apple as a kind of modern art, since its design is so fashionable and attract so many loyal customers. However, according to Apple, “there is more to coolness than fashion”, since it is the combination of art and technology. To those decision makers, beautiful, smooth, and consistent interface didn’t sacrifice features, some of which would not be seen on other PCs until years later. To customers, what they really expect is high technology, simplicity and customer-friendly interface; although beautiful and colorful looking of products can be very trendy, customers will not pay for Apple without unique technologies.

Jobs drives the notion of design-as-product-integrity. He believed, the...
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