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Microsoft Out Innovates Apple?

Posted on August 17th, 2016 by in New Materials & Applications


By jarmoluk [CC0 Public Domain], via pixabay

Often portrayed as “the posterchild” for innovation, has Apple finally been dethroned by none other than Microsoft?

For all but commodity companies, innovation is the lifeblood of sustaining growth. Whether it’s in their product line, their business model, their market approach, or their corporate structure, innovation helps a company adapt to the changing market and customer demands to stay ahead of competition.

When it comes to product innovation, Apple is usually the first company name off the tongue when querying anyone about product innovation. So it struck me as curious at best to see publications such as Fast Company, and The Times of India reporting on how Microsoft has bested Apple when it comes to innovation.

Peeling back the onion, the stories originated from a study completed by Good&Co analyzing the psychometric data collected from thousands of anonymous quizzes completed by technology company employees. Good&Co markets itself as a “self-discovery platform and network for a new generation of professionals looking for more meaning in their careers”. Part of their process includes a survey app used to profile an individual’s personality and career objectives using questions such as “How often do you find yourself Googling things to learn more?” or “You’ve been visiting the same coffee shop for three weeks. The baristas: ‘Can’t remember your order’ or Are your best friends’?”

The findings of their study are culled from analysis of these survey responses then compared across companies. In this case, the “innovation” they are measuring is against psychometric qualities the company feels fosters innovation. Apple fans should take comfort that the study findings don’t appear to be an indictment of their beloved iPhones, iPads or iPods.

At it’s core, innovation is about ideas – fostering new ideas, combining them with the ideas of others to solve new problems or overcome challenges in the status quo. Steve Johnson and the team over at Riverhead Books provides an engaging description of idea generation in the video below entitled Where Good Ideas Come From.

Good ideas can lead to a variety of different innovation strategies. For Apple, it’s about product innovation – delivering cutting edge products. For Walmart, it’s about supply chain innovation for operational efficiency. For Gillette, it’s about patent protection preventing competition from following its lead. The Good&Co study adds another dimension concerning employee perceptions.

What are your thoughts on innovation and whether Microsoft, Apple or another company deserves the lead? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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