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.