Musing on the success of the iPod in its first five years Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies said (in Oct, 2006) "It's so intricately tied to an ease-of-use model for acquiring and accessing content, but also being able to play it and distribute it among other devices." Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies.
Another eighteen months on and Umair writes
"Macbook Air: iPod or Newton?
Remember what the conventional wisdom was regarding the iPod when it launched?
That it was pretty, but was easily outcompeted by other mp3 players offering better features - more memory, bigger screens, etc, etc - and so it was doomed to fail.
The iPod got slammed on it's release - because almost everyone failed to understand that Jobs wasn't playing an orthodox game of feature-based (aka price) competition.
Apple wasn't trying to incrementally improve a failing value proposition - but to blow it up entirely, and open up new strategic trajectories for an almost entirely moribund consumer electronics industry.
I think it would be wise to place the anti-hype surrounding the Macbook Air firmly in that context."
we can see that that is still true for the iPod... but is it equally true for the MacBook Air?
The comments to Haque's post are intriguing... here are extracts:
" ... yes, but...
"cool" also has a shelf-life, and can cause a whole lot of problems, from labor conditions to landfills..."
"It's not a new product category, and it's not a major strategic shift.
It's just a sign that Mac sales have improved to the point where there's enough volume to support more niche products like the Air. It's a bit like the ipod shuffle vs. the ipod."
It certainly seems that a sustainable innovation strategy must be based on consumer/customer/user insights to drive the search for value creating opportunities (VCO). VCOs that are also sustainable seem to be based on a robust platform that can be reused to build different outputs in the form of products, services, processes and alliances that continually recreate the possibilities for people so that innovation by design conforms to Kevin Roberts definition of innovation: