I don’t consider Steve Jobs as a great innovator

Production’ (in the musical sense of the term) as the future great tool for competitivenes

If we conduct a survey on who is the most innovating person nowadays, many people would mention Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. Jobs appears in his own right as a clear benchmarker of innovation. Personally, I appreciate Jobs’ work and vision and it is part of my list of benchmarkers but I do not particularly consider Jobs as a great innovator; I believe that there is a quality above his vision on innovation and that’s what really provides him with the competitiveness that makes his actions outstanding: Jobs is a great producer.

In this article, I would like to highlight the qualities and benefits of a good ‘production’, not in terms of doing (producing) but in terms of ‘causing to do’; causing to produce with a personal and unstranferable filter. All this in the ‘musical’ sense of the term.

According to Wikipedia, in the musical industry, a record producer plays various roles, such as controlling recording sessions, instructing and guiding interpreters, gathering ideas for the project, directing creativity and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. Phil Spector has been one of the pioneer producers; nowadays the famous musical disc jockeys are achieving a key role within the industry by combining their DJ’s role and the producers’ role. We could say that a producer is a person who holds the global vision of the ultimate, who carries the differential knowledge of what is aimed to attain.

In my opinion, Steve Jobs’ main virtue consists of giving a personal vision to classical and well-established concepts in the industry. Jobs manages to get excellent productions with his products; he can perfectly perceive the tempo and the need of his target client and he offers concepts that are well-established and perfectly tuned and adjusted to his way of understanding products. With this purpose, he does not necessarily use new knowledge and concepts but he knows how to recover from the past those concepts that still have value for the society and he renews them by adapting them to the evolution of society and its tastes; like a musical producer he knows how to recover those great traditional songs from oblivion and refresh them by means of updated rhythms and arrangements and on the basis of the trend of the moment, managing to increase the initial value of the concept.

As a producer, Jobs locates and resets all the elements making up a product or service with a holistic vision of things, he tunes up all the elements and makes them vibrate on the same wave; for Jobs the radius of an edge has the same value as the menu tree that must offer a variety of services appearing on the screen, as the value-price equation, the packing and its process, etc. All the elements making up a concept as a product or service are aligned and tuned among one another by a master of production.

Now that we have a relatively easy access to all the elements making up the companies’ competitiveness, in a world where knowledge runs and expands more rapidly than the time needed to apply it, it is worth vindicating the figure of ‘production’ under a personal philosophy in our companies. ‘Production’ constitutes a great weapon to attack the homogeneity and vulgarity surrounding us, to differentiate ourselves with our own elements which are hard to copy.

The more we concentrate on the value (real and perceived) of things, the more important the figure of production becomes. In those sectors where almost the whole product is perceived value it already happens this way; the ‘producer’ is fundamental in sectors like music, cinema, perfumes, the design industry, etc.

Let’s give the ‘soul’ back to our company’s products and services. We shouldn’t enter the market in a dull way, only worrying about the most tangible aspects of competitiveness. Let’s give them some philosophy: Let’s define a production line; I dare say that it will be the most important aspect of the markets’ competitiveness in view of the future.

 

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Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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