As the founder and driving force behind Apple and many of theinnovative products that pervade our society, the late Steve Jobsis known for finding significant advantages through productinnovation. Consider a few of his ideas to help you get acompetitive advantage.

Weigh the voice of the consumer

We often ask ourselves what the consumer wants—and I’m aproponent of this process. Yet Jobs was never the type to settlecomfortably behind market research and answers that were easilydefended in corporate boardrooms. He challenged his developmentteams to bring out the wow factor in their products. For example,there had been tablet computers before the iPad, but I bet youcan’t name them or their creators. There were BlackBerrys and PalmTreos before the iPhone, but none inspired the “gotta have it”coolness of the iPhone. Why could Apple, under Jobs’ leadership,inspire such brand mastery? Because the culture was one that said“give the consumer what they don’t realize they need; give themwhat they want.” Jobs knew the secret of the want factor, goingbeyond what customers needed.

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