Steve Jobs was an artist — a Picasso, if you will. His devices have become among the most iconic of the current generation: true works of art that are in nearly every hand (in one form or another) throughout the United States. They have incredible power. People like Steve Jobs, however, are comparatively rare. Those innovative minds, born with the determination, creativity and passion necessary to make a mark on the universe, show up and are placed in the right circumstances relatively infrequently on our planet.
Fortunately, even though Steve Jobs is no longer alive, there are ways to replicate the incredible insights and innovations that he executed so beautifully. And, they can be done without having to replicate Steve Jobs, the person. Through exponentially increasing sources, data can rapidly replicate that which might have been left solely to the realm of observation, intuition and radical empathy —innovation. With insights driven by data and the power of a strong imagination, we can, in fact, accelerate the kind of vision and execution that Steve Jobs delivered to the world.
I realize this may be a controversial, and possibly even sacrilegious, claim against the genius of this technology icon, but we would never achieve that kind of greatness if we didn’t dare. The good news is, with today’s tools and data, we already can.
Historically, it wasn’t possible to create innovation by leaps and bounds, in this manner. It is similar to the historic world that leaned on religious explanations, rather than science, to explain the mysteries of the universe. The practice of rapid innovation, to a great extent, is still in its early days. In fact, we are just getting started.
The inventions of the last decades have made the impossible possible. Computers, the internet, and mobile phones and technology continue to be rapidly revolutionized, over and over again. They continue to change the shape of the world and the possibilities within it. The next frontier, however, is a focus on reshaping the world through data. As a result, we will continue to achieve things that were previously thought impossible.
So, what if it were possible to replicate the insights of innovators like Steve Jobs through data analysis and leverage—or even more than just replicate them, accelerate them? The process of starting innovation small and building it into something big is incredibly important. Part of that process may not be possible to streamline, but with focus through data analysis, it’s possible to accelerate creativity and ramp up the growth process. And, as a result, your company will be better able to get new products and processes in the hands of the customers who need them most. The data is available to us today and continues to increase exponentially, but the techniques and mindset for the real-world analysis of this data still appear to be lacking. But, with that possibility comes the opportunity to, once again, change the face of the world, making today’s creative processes and innovations appear archaic.
A Steve Jobs Lens To Innovate
Steve Jobs didn’t just have random leaps of innovation. Rather, he knew his audience intimately and intuitively.
He paid attention to the ways in which the current mobile phones on the market weren’t working for people: the things that they were missing and what it would take to provide them with the kind of satisfying mobile experience they were looking for. He listened and made correlations between the needs of the population and the shortcoming of the existing phone options. People wanted hand-held music devices, to be able to check their email, and to be able to browse the web, all in one handy device — and Steve Jobs was the one to make it happen. It was an amazing stroke of innovation that has changed the entire technological world.
Creating Steve Jobs-Level Insights To Create Significant Value Leaps
Data-driven innovation doesn’t require the brain or being of Steve Jobs to deliver the insights. Using data and personal observations, businesses can discover all that they need to know to provide these same types of incredible, intuitive leaps. They can analyze what their customers really want, beyond what is immediately and readily observable. Companies can gain insight into the ways their customers’ interactions with their brand and business leave a yearning for other undiscovered experiences, and as a result, what products might ultimately be successful.
Data and intelligence, if applied astutely, can predict correlations and accelerate insights that will inform decisions on both products and marketing. Continual testing and tweaking of those market strategies will help businesses see trends as they emerge, as they analyze and predict the wants and needs of the current population. However, this all needs to be applied without the tempting and sometimes automatic tendency to follow or mimic the herd. It can also be said that if you’ve read it in the (popular) media or research anywhere without personal observations, data and insights directly from your customers, you’re way too late and well behind the possibility of creating significant value. This is unfortunately the trap many businesses fall into without doing the necessary work at hand. There are no easy answers written neatly in articles or power point decks by high priced consultants.
Even without a Steve Jobs on the team, by utilizing the data and personal observations available to them, businesses can gain invaluable insights and accelerate the creation of long-term shareholder value. Combining these points of data with the imagination and creativity shown by men like Jobs, businesses can harness the power to create the next iPod or iPhone of their industry and make incredible leaps of innovation that may change the face of the industry and the world forever.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/123868529@N03/28777007826″>Clever Cogs!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>