Competitors can often be characterized by unimaginative and overconfident megalomaniacs duking it out over razor-thin margins in a race to the bottom*.
The number of companies shoehorning yesterday’s electronics into iPhone and iPad-looking exteriors is at once depressing and encouraging, for example.
Depressing because these companies (despite their billions in funding and vast supply chains) are so out of touch that they shamelessly copy what’s working and in some cases dare to even sue the originators for patent or copyright infringement…**
…and encouraging because the gulf between true excellence in product design and the ripoffs will in the coming years become so vast that a discriminating customers will vote with their wallets in a way that causes companies to innovate or die.
When I think of innovation, I think of James Cameron and Elon Musk. People willing to rethink entire experiences and limitations on human achievement.
Steve Jobs was onto something, too.
* = It was a lot of fun writing that sentence.
** = I recognize that Apple is not the originator of many of the ideas upon which several of its products are built, my point here is about execution and leadership.