The value of Apple’s innovation process

Horace Dediu makes an important argument that Apple’s stock price has been based simply on the value of its latest products, whereas “the process of product development at Apple is worth nothing.”

In other words, from the market’s perspective:

Innovations are valuable, but there is no such thing as an innovation process. If there was such a thing, then we could measure it and put a number on its value. Until then, innovation is nothing more than a spin of the roulette wheel.

Dediu’s unspoken point, of course, is that the market is missing something huge: Apple has honed and demonstrated its ability to repeatedly design, produce, and sell innovative consumer electronics products. I am absolutely convinced that their success is not due to luck but rather to a finely tuned innovation process. That doesn’t mean they will never release duds, of course, but it means that on the whole they can be counted on to continue to disrupt markets with innovative products. The wider technology community misunderstands this ability so deeply that instead of trying to copy Apple’s innovation process, they insist that it is nothing but good luck and good marketing.

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