Innovation At Work: A Back-room Story

I think Wired wrote this piece for me. "Apple spent rough $150 million building the iPhone" and this article tells some of that story.

I don't love it because it's about the iPhone: truth be told, I don't like the iPhone. I really, really want to like it. It really is beautiful. Completely stunning. And some of its tricks are amazing: visual voicemail & web browsing looks interesting (I haven't tried its web browsing and I'm not sure if it really will work). But it can't do Flash or Java (read: allow developers to program in a 2 common ways) or record video. And it's camera is low megapixel (I've redefined my minimum bar for camera mega-pixels since meeting a few people from Telefónica Spain who have 5 MP cameras on their mobile phone).

I do love the story of how the innovation happened. The iPhone is an amazing device and it's amazing how a company gets something that innovative built. From page 3:

"To ensure the iPhone's tiny antenna could do its job effectively, Apple spent millions buying and assembling special robot-equipped testing rooms. To make sure the iPhone didn't generate too much radiation, Apple built models of human heads - complete with goo to simulate brain density - and measured the effects. To predict the iPhone's performance on a network, Apple engineers bought nearly a dozen server-sized radio-frequency simulators for millions of dollars apiece. Even Apple's experience designing screens for iPods didn't help the company design the iPhone screen, as Jobs discovered while toting a prototype in his pocket: To minimize scratching, the touchscreen needed to be made of glass, not hard plastic like on the iPod."

They did what it took to get it done. Wow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

tagged: innovation, iphone