In the tech industry, companies such as Apple, Google, and any other major player are constantly pressured to innovate.
But Steve Wozniak, who cofounded Apple alongside Steve Jobs, doesn’t think innovation simply means creating products that are different and new.
“The state of innovation is high [at Apple] but people think of innovation as brand new categories,” Wozniak said when Bloomberg’s Emily Chang asked him about the state of innovation at the company.
But Woz argues it’s actually about making sure all aspects of a product work well together, while ensuring that anyone can understand how to use a given device.
This is an idea that Jobs really understood, according to Wozniak.
“Sometimes the best thing is to make sure that every product works as well as the other one for anybody and doesn’t confuse and lose them,” Wozniak said. “That’s something Steve Jobs was very good at. In other words, put in the balance of the best features, and you don’t have to be the top camera in the world, the highest speed processor in the world, the longest battery life. You just have to be very good in every category.”
It’s a philosophy that seems to sum up Apple’s approach to product development — focus on making products easy and enjoyable to use rather than cluttering them with flashy features in a race to be “first.”
Wozniak also explained how Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk embodies some of Jobs’ characteristics.
“I actually admire Elon Musk because of the nature of his car,” Wozniak said. “Steve Jobs built an iPhone and talked about [how] every little detail had to be right for him. And that iPhone came out not crowded, not cluttered, it was just a beautiful transformation. Elon built a car for himself, the Tesla Model S, and it has taken over the world.”