January 9th, 2007

Apple’s iPhone And The Head Rush Of REAL Innovation

by

Instances of REAL innovation are so painfully rare, so few and far between. There’s so much HYPE, so much hollow, empty promise, it just weights you down — but there’s nothing like the head rush of experiencing real innovation — and that’s exactly what Apple delivered to today with the wildly anticipated and obsessively hyped iPhone (from the superhuman Engadget live blog of Steve Job’s Macworld keynote):

Apple iPhone

The 19th century aesthetistician Walter Pater wrote:

All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music, because, in its ideal, consummate moments, the end is not distinct from the means, the form from the matter, the subject from the expression

Apple and Google are the two companies with the greatest talent for innovation in this spirit — innovation that achieves true “elegance.” Google Search and AdWords are elegant. iPod is elegant.

And the iPhone is indeed elegant. And obvious — true innovation is exquisitely obvious.

Google may be the great money making machine, but as to innovation, we are all living in Apple’s shadow now.

And DESIGN is now a key differentiator at the convergence of media and technology. That’s why Google, with its elegant and obsessively copied search interface design, and Apple, with the virtuoso design of everything it touches, are the dominant forces.

That’s why Jason Calacanis is searching for the top web designers.

Design. Elegance. Simplicity. Innovation. That’s where it’s at.

Comments (27 Responses so far)

  1. an ideology. It just is. It’s about delivering the best possible feature set in the best possible way. It’s about making each and every one of those features easy to use. Not surprisingly, the most elegant is also often the most innovative (and, as Scott points out, the most obvious). The problem with elegance is it’s not easy. It requires a company to really know who they are and who their audience is. They need to get back to basics, which just happens to be the point of this whole piece. (Apologies for taking

  2. The Rise of the Internet Video Networks Bob Lefsetz states his serious gripe with the Long Tail’s analysis of the music business. “If you think Top Forty is mainstream, then you’re just not listening.” And finally… iPhone iPhone iPhone

  3. Bob Lefsetz states his serious gripe with the Long Tail’s analysis of the music business. “If you think Top Forty is mainstream, then you’re just not listening.” And finally… iPhone iPhone iPhone ONE. C23

  4. Apple OS Sacrificed to iPhone Hey, Apple: Remember the Newton before releasing iPhone iPhone running Parallels Where can I buy Apple iPhone accessories? The $3000 iPhone The iPhone, and a humbler side of Steve Jobs Apple’s iPhone And The Head Rush Of REAL Innovation Impact of the Apple iPhone The iPhone Conundrum Skypegear Roadtest: Linksys WIP 320 Wireless-G iPhone iPhone Merry iPhone Video Converter + DVD to iPhone Suite 1.1.21 Apple’s iPhone Comes Closer iPhone Stores Popping Up

  5. I just bought a Blackberry 8830 from Verizon, forgoing the opportunity to be among the first iPhone owners. This decision surprised me because I had been eagerly looking forward to the iPhone after praising it as a truly innovative product, despite much tech geek snarking. And now that the mainstream tech pundocracy has weighted in, it appears that the iPhone does indeed live up to expectations — mostly. (via Digital Media Wire – Music

  6. I just bought a Blackberry 8830 from Verizon, forgoing the opportunity to be among the first iPhone owners. This decision surprised me because I had been eagerly looking forward to the iPhone after praising it as a truly innovative product, despite much tech geek snarking. And now that the mainstream tech pundocracy has weighted in, it appears that the iPhone does indeed live up to expectations — mostly.

  7. I just bought a Blackberry 8830 from Verizon, forgoing the opportunity to be among the first iPhone owners. This decision surprised me because I had been eagerly looking forward to the iPhone after praising it as a truly innovative product, despite much tech geek snarking. And now that the mainstream tech pundocracy has weighted in, it appears that the iPhone does indeed live up to expectations — mostly. Two minor issues that contributed to my decision were the lack of a mechanical

  8. Steve Jobs isn’t stupid. He knows that AT&T Wireless sucks. So why lock the revolutionary iPhone into a crappy network? Because Jobs knows that everyone will buy an iPhone anyway, even if they hate the network. And that, as Umair points out, shifts all the power to Apple – Read On. Posted in

  9. Jobs isn’t stupid. He knows that AT&T Wireless sucks. So why lock the revolutionary iPhone into a crappy […] Original post by How Apple Will Use The iPhone To Take Over The Wireless Industry » Publishing 2.0

  10. Design innovation – no doubt. Apple is the king as you state nicely. But I’m still waiting for the real game changer at the convergence of media and technology – the mobile devices that give us true open broadband IP access and mobile voice – I doubt the iPhone will do that because I suspect AT&T/Cingular will really be giving us walled garden WiFi. Details here on NextBlitz blog.

  11. [...] (More on the Apple iPhone: PaidContent, Read/WriteWeb, Techdirt, IP Democracy, kottke.org, Publishing 2.0, Telegraph Blogs, Gizmodo, Dana Gardner’s BriefingsDirect, Business Filter, InsideMicrosoft, Joystiq, Pocket PC Thoughts, Monkey Bites, Mark Evans, The Tech Report, Between the Lines, Digital Life, Zatz Not Funny!, Engadget HD, Paul Kedrosky’s …, TechBlog, InsideGoogle, PalmAddicts, hypebot, biskero.org, Paul Colligan’s …, Seeking Alpha, Peer Pressure, Ogle Earth, Blogging Stocks, Rex Hammock’s weblog, Jarrett House North, Ken McGuire On The Web, Tech Trader Daily, Brandon Live!, brainwagon, Download Squad, Boing Boing, Lost Remote, Greg Galitzine’s VoIP …, Innovation in College Media, All About Symbian, Ryan Stewart, I4U News, Thoughts on VoIP, technology, Ben Metcalfe Blog and DealBook) [...]

  12. What makes Google the money-making machine and not Apple I wonder. Can Apple ever be the great money making machine?

  13. So beautiful … and *every* rumor turned out to be true. How about that?

    Zone – I expect that Google’s stratospheric market value vs. Apple’s has to do with the fact that Apple sells stuff while Google sells air. It’s hard to judge the demand for air…

  14. [...] In his post about Apple’s new iPhone, Scott Karp writes: And DESIGN is now a key differentiator at the convergence of media and technology. That’s why Google, with its elegant and obsessively copied search interface design, and Apple, with the virtuoso design of everything it touches, are the dominant forces. [...]

  15. Michal/Zone, Google is a money making machine because it sells other people’s stuff, and there’s unlimited demand and supply.

  16. Innovation? Remix. I use a smartphone since last May with synchronised address book, push email, music player, Safari-based browser, Google Map, IM client, wheather, widgets, 3Mpx camera etc. (Nokia N80). Maybe in the US it’s something new, because every moron gets cheap crap phones with subscription there, but nothing new in Europe.

  17. Scott! Out of everything I read you captured my thoughts perfectly. Thank you (yet again).

    Sebhelyesfarku – feature sets alone do not make a product whole. UI, implementation, design, … all contribute to the product. I have yet to see anything (anything!) like this on the market. Not even close.

  18. [...] Ok, so the iPhone is here (read what Mike Arrington and Scott Karp had to say about it). Gil and I both predicted it (duh!) so the first good news is that one monkey is off or backs. [...]

  19. Scott, couldn’t agree more, I only have one question: Do you think design, elegance, simplicity and innovation are really separate ideas or are they steps along the path to innovation?

  20. [...] Yesterday, I wrote a post about the Apple iPhone, declaring it a stunning innovation. I had a moment of hesitation before I posted it — what if everyone else thinks it sucks? And sure enough, today the blogosphere is filled with discussion of everything wrong with the iPhone. But I posted it anyway. I don’t create any value for my readers by trying to hold a mirror up to everyone else’s opinion. [...]

  21. [...] So what is it that gives Apple this luminous aura? Well, in addition to its creations’ great features, Apple is superbly branded: They bring us youthful, popular-enough-to-be-spoofed commercials (although some find them nasty). Oh and they innovate. But what I personally appreciate the most, which may not surprise some of you, is Apple’s [...]

  22. [...] I hate to rehash the iPhone however I just wanted to follow up on some other coverage. Scott at Publishing 2.0 has a great piece on “the head rush of real innovation” that the iPhone achieves. He makes a great point, “DESIGN is now a key differentiator at the convergence of media and technology… Design. Elegance. Simplicity. Innovation. That’s where it’s at.” [...]

  23. [...] breakthrough, because I think it is. Especially on the user-experience side — Scott Karp rightfully points to the Multi-touch interface as an example of real [...]

  24. [...] surprised me because I had been eagerly looking forward to the iPhone after praising it as a truly innovative product, despite much tech geek snarking. And now that the mainstream tech pundocracy has weighted in, it [...]

  25. [...] all the hype and criticism of the iPhone, one thing is undeniable — people are willing to stand in line [...]

  26. [...] Jobs isn’t stupid. He knows that AT&T Wireless sucks. So why lock the revolutionary iPhone into a crappy [...]

  27. [...] Jobs isn’t stupid. He knows that AT&T Wireless sucks. So why lock the revolutionary iPhone into a crappy [...]

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