How Steve Jobs Fooled the Leader of the Free World and His Opponents

In 2001 Creative met with Jobs to discuss a user interface for a new MP3 player Apple was releasing. They showed him what they had, Steve said, “no thanks”, and proceeded to use it anyway. Creative sued and got $100mil over it. So much for the revolutionary iPod.

via The World Warrior.

Like every company that Apple steals from (or the majority of them, since Creative is the only exception), no legal action was taken. However, after doing some more research it seems as if LG opted not to file a lawsuit because they could (and did) technically fire back by using similar Apple hardware designs – meaning if they were to sue LG for looking too much like an iPhone, LG could throw them under the bus for working too much like a Prada.

Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator’s Dilemma

By taking this approach, Apple bent all the rules of disruption. To disrupt yourself, for example, Professor Christensen’s research would typically prescribe setting up a separate company that eventually goes on to defeat the parent. It’s incredibly hard to do this successfully; Dayton Dry Goods pulled it off with Target. IBM managed to do it with the transition from mainframes to PCs, by firewalling the businesses in entirely different geographies. Either way, the number of companies that have successfully managed to do it is a very, very short list. And yet Apple’s doing it to itself right now with the utmost of ease. Here’s new CEO Tim Cook, on the iPad disrupting the Mac business: “Yes, I think there is some cannibalization… the iPad team works on making their product the best. Same with the Mac team.” It’s almost unheard of to be able to manage disruption like this.

via Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator’s Dilemma – James Allworth – Harvard Business Review.