Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Mar 2012 15:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless I'm currently reading Jerry Kaplan's excellent book "Startup: a Silicon Valley adventure". In this book, Kaplan, founder and CEO of GO Corp., details the founding, financing and eventual demise of his highly innovative company, including the development and workings of their product. What's so surprising about this book is just how timeless it really is - the names and products may have changed, but the business practices and company attitudes surely haven't.
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Innovation and Apple
by jkaplan on Sat 24th Mar 2012 00:55 UTC
jkaplan
Member since:
2012-03-24

First of all, thanks for the kind words about my book!

I wouldn't fault Steve Sakoman or Apple in general for developing an idea that may have some of its roots elsewhere. You have to look long and hard to find something that is utterly, completely original. There were certainly attempts at pen computers before GO, but as some posts here note, the hard part is developing and delivering an appealing, functional product.

At the time that I had my early discussions with Sakoman, 'pen computers' were little more than a vague idea. What they would look like, how they would work, etc. wasn't fleshed out. He rightfully deserves tremendous credit for the creativity and diligence he brought to the Newton effort.

The criticism that Apple 'steals' ideas is unwarranted. Everyone builds on ideas from others, but not everyone can start with a concept and build a coherent product. Imagining a 'touch screen phone' is light-years away from designing the iPhone. Other companies developed portable solid-state music players, but Apple perfected the iPod. A lot of that success was Job's ability to use his star power to strike a deal with the music publishing companies, which no one else had been able to do, then to link the product with the iTunes store.

As my friend Nolan Bushnell once said (paraphased here), "Anyone can get an idea in the shower; it's what you do after you dry off that matters." Let's give credit where credit is due!

Jerry Kaplan

Reply Score: 6

RE: Innovation and Apple
by kwan_e on Sat 24th Mar 2012 01:48 in reply to "Innovation and Apple"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The criticism that Apple 'steals' ideas is unwarranted. Everyone builds on ideas from others, but not everyone can start with a concept and build a coherent product.


If you think about it, "stealing" is kind of what Apple IS doing.

In the current copyright battle, there is the argument that copyright infringement is not the same as stealing a physical disk or book or a car because you haven't deprived someone else of one less of that product.

Apple, however borrows ideas, then tries to PREVENT others from using the same idea through Community Design patents and many other design patents. In effect, they take an idea, then they try (and seem to be succeeding) deprive others the ability to use that idea. That's a good case for it being stealing, rather than just borrowing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Innovation and Apple
by JAlexoid on Sat 24th Mar 2012 02:41 in reply to "Innovation and Apple"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Stealing is a reference to Apple's claims that everyone else "stole" their innovations. Where, in fact, they are massively hypocritical about this whole thing and do blatantly "steal" other's ideas (in a lot of cases without proper credit).

Edited 2012-03-24 02:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Innovation and Apple
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 24th Mar 2012 03:40 in reply to "Innovation and Apple"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The criticism that Apple 'steals' ideas is unwarranted. Everyone builds on ideas from others, but not everyone can start with a concept and build a coherent product.


I didn't really mean it as a criticism though - I think this is exactly how the technology industry should work. It's just very sad that Apple seems to think it's okay for them to take and use ideas from everybody else - but not for anyone else to do the same with Apple's ideas. Would it have been fair if Apple had sued GO because GO's products were too similar to the Newton?

The word "stealing" was used here not because I personally think it's the right word to describe it - I would have used sharing. However, Apple labels the practice you and I both agree is a good thing as "stealing". Aren't iOS and Android essentially the modern day equivalents of PenPointOS and NewtonOS, different implementations of the same basic idea? What gives Apple the right to use the courts to try and claim ownership of that basic idea?

Also, very awesome you posted a comment here - I'm honoured!

Reply Parent Score: 2