Saturday, December 17, 2011

Creativity | The new black of competition

Indonesia has a new title in the phone business: "The Blackberry Nation". It was notably mentioned during the launching of Blackberry Bellagio, first in the world, in Indonesia, causing a massive mass assembly leading into a stampede. Indonesia is a country with biggest Blackberry users. An interesting label, as we remember that 5 years ago this kind of product was never exist at all in Indonesia.

The constant changing customer behavior...
Business incumbents may miss the old days, the day when their technology enough to dominate the market, when they just had to focus on the product development, efficient manufacturing, pushing the product with vast marketing, selling the product to the customer. But nowadays, customer decision is not only based on highest technology, price, or ads only. They seek a customized value proposition from a product that will serve what they need. And the real problem is...sometime customers don't know what they really need.
"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." (Steve Jobs)
Old school management said business need to know what customer want, but Steve Jobs rejects that idea and emphasize instead that business have to know what customer need. It should know how the customer think, it need to feel the customers experience, the user experience; it need to connect what is the missing values that customer will need; and then bring a product or service that surpass the expectation and then tell them : "This is what you want, this is what you need". This exhausting process need one key word from producers, "Creativity".

Creativity and local wisdom understanding, bring Blackberry into winner in Indonesia, for now; and bring Apple as the champion in the world. Leaving all the incumbents who are now struggling, trying to maintain the old days victory, or setting back into their R&D labs to prepare a comeback with a new proposition, if possible. Good luck Nokia..good luck IBM...

Think Different...
Talking about creativity, we definitely should note the Apple resurrection. As Steve Jobs returned to Apple to lead the company who fired him 10 years before, he redefine how creativity can be the ultimate cutting edge of a business. It is not only redefining the product, but the whole business model giving Apple the sustainable profit ever.

iPod is not the first MP3 Player in the market, but combining the user demand with music industry demand he revolutionized how a user can buy their favorite songs without have to buy a whole CD in affordable prices, with iTunes. iPod is now leading MP3 player in the world and iTunes revolutionized the music industry with revenues more than ever.

iPhone and iPad share the same success. It is not only the product designs, but the whole user experience and from Apple side, the cash generating machine by selling third party application and telecommunication operator shared revenue based on the uses of the device. The profit does not come by selling product only, but more of it, the after sales. Again, creativity revolutionized the market.

Steve Jobs regard himself more to an artist, and encourage all of his team in apple that they are all artists. Thus, every product was brought to customer thoughtfully, artistically, and in the edge of perfections, surpassing what customer want. Now that he is passed way, Apple must insist how to keep the creativity environment stays in Apple. Or their competitors will take the crown

Creativity : Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal ...
Being creative is mostly referred to create a new ideas, invent, break through, etc. Everyone said you must have something original, genuine ideas, to be different with other ideas. That is okay, if you can. But please, we are living in the modern era when everything is already invented in every aspect of our life, from the classic invention of light bulb to the invention of cotton bud for your ear.

We don't have to try to reinvent the wheel, Greek did that hundred years ago. We just need to connect the ideas, gathering the experiences, and try to make it better. Most inventions were in parallel invented by other person, and most leading business nowadays are not the inventor of the business.

But if the inventor, the first one who though of it didn’t make things good enough, then steve jobs gave us a golden rule to follow: “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. What’s the big difference between both you say?
People who copy create duplicates. They adjust a little, tweak a little, but overall, it’s just the same thing. If you where the buyer and given the choice between the original and the duplicate, who would you choose? Of course, you’d still stick to the original. Even if the price difference would be a huge figure, the original would still be the winner. No one, and I mean no one, would like to settle for a ‘copy’. 
People who steal are in to create a bigger game- their own game. Steve Jobs is not the first one to invent a laptop or even an operating system (say hi to Bill Gates). But he was creative. He saw where Microsoft Inc. fall short (in terms of the feel of their hardware and the massive vulnerability of their OS) and decided to make things even better. 
And as you read those two paragraph above, those are a copy from Liane's article. And the part when I steal it, is when connecting those line with the whole story. Also the quotes “Good artists copy, great artists steal” is a Picasso, but the popularity was "stolen" as of Steve Jobs ;-)

Now, when we go to mall to find electronic goods few years ago, you will find a lot of duplicate of leading products, mainly from China. We might not want to buy it, it is cheap, not genuine, and low quality. But as China shifted from "copy" into "steal", we already see few China product with Apple quality. Not duplicate, but equally better and off course, cheaper. The New Apple Spirit will raise from China.

And it is on people, on talent, on company culture...
And the core of the creativity lays on the people behind it. It takes creativity leadership, to combine the hierarchical management and a creative business environment. Some company may think their business is not creativity based, and maintain the old school management style that serve them profit for years.

But, soon or later, the more creative competitor will take the edge. When the business environment changes, what matters will also change. And those company with creative environment will fast enough to adapt, to change the business model, and take the lead on the changes. While those who are not, may laid back, and only realizes the need for changes, when it is all too late...

Just as my Blackberry is getting old fashioned, slow, and error all the time, may be I should buy a new one. And the option is only two, a new Blackberry or a new iPhone. Or maybe a China product. Waiting who of them, are the most creative to serve my needs...

1 comment:

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