Originally Posted by a_greer
HONEYCOMB HONEYCOMB ME WANT HONEYCOMB! </cheesy 1980s kids tv ad referance>
I am excited to see such competition, this is what drives innovation and forces leaders like apple to innovate because they want to stay ahead
People keep repeating this and it's rarely true.
How did the competitions between dozens (hundreds?) of phone manufacturers drive innovation? What upset the entire apple cart was ... Apple and the iPhone.
How did the competition drive innovation in the tablet market? It didn't - there really wasn't a tablet market until Apple created it almost overnight.
How did the competition drive innovation in the MP3 player market? It didn't - there really wasn't much innovation until Apple brought together a different approach with the iPod.
How did the competition drive innovation in the vacuum cleaner market over decades and decades? It didn't - there were just variants on a theme until Dyson created a bagless cleaner.
How did the competition drive innovation in the small car market? It didn't, until Alec Issigonis created the Mini, which although slow to pick up sales eventually redefined what a really small car could be.
How did the competition drive innovation in the mainstream car market? It didn't - pretty much everything was more and more of just the same until Citroën introduced one innovation after another with monocoque construction, removal of running boards, front-wheel drive, self-levelling suspension, powered brakes and more. The company was not a huge player in the market and eventually was taken over but they had real vision and some of that lives on in pretty much every car in the world.
I won't go on any further but it's clear that competition in and of itself rarely produces any breakthroughs, but what does, is (frequently) one person's vision which is often counter to the perceived wisdom which is just what everyone else is offering in spades. Someone's sig on here from Henry Ford perfectly sums it up "If I'd asked what people wanted they would have said faster horses" Most great innovators - Jobs, Citroën, Issigonis, Dyson and others - see past the present to new possibilities because that's the kind of people they are. What's unusual about Jobs is that he's not an engineer - though of course Jonny Ive has a good deal of input and he IS an engineer.