The Steve Jobs Way - Chapter 9 - Holistic Development

The key aspect of this chapter for me was the Innovators' solution idea of integrated architecture versus modular architecture. The writer speaks of every aspect of a product needing to gel together giving an example of Gillette cans that rust because the cans are not manufacture by Gillette and because the brand executives are not users of the product. That has been the much repeated central message of the book - of having executives that make the product be not just users but passionate about the product and not ones who just look at numbers.

On the aspect of modularity versus integrated architecture, Apple has always been known to promote integrated architecture. So it is no surprise that this chapter extols the virtues of an integrated architecture. I guess it is also the Apple brand and positioning which makes this best for it. But as professor Christensen says, it makes sense to choose the one that suits the present maturity of a product in most cases. 

I could relate what this chapter spoke about with the idea of job to be done concept. The book down plays the importance of focus groups which is considered important in Blue Ocean. But I guess both ideas can be reconciled. We do not ask customers to create the product. Instead we need to understand the job they need done. So focus groups to understand what needs to be done can be effective, Post which a company can design a product or service that does that particular job.

The book once again brings ideas of innovation culture, allowing every employee to see their ideas being realized, nor penalizing employees for failure, strategic focus on core products among others. Once again too many ideas. I felt it going all over the place instead of showing an anecdote from Steve Job's life and drawing a specific lesson from it. I mean maybe all actions may not carry lessons. But one must be clear if this is an inspirational biography or a book with which to learn core business strategies. 

Among other ideas, the book also talks about partnering, not accepting no for an answer when engineering and manufacturing push back that the design vision cant be met,  cross pollination of ideas across departments. And we learnt how Steve Jobs used customized Canon printers for the initial printers instead of manufacturing it themselves.


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