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The Myth's of Innovation - Essay Example

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Although the Apple iPod dominates sales for digital music players, the device itself is not all that innovative. Numerous other digital music players were sold in the market before the iPod was developed. Instead, the iPod was developed in response to market research into digital devices…
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The Myths of Innovation
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Download file to see previous pages The Apple team realized that there was a potential to improve on the design of existing digital music players using existing technology. The iPod wasn’t developed as the result of a sudden epiphany; it was a product of the steady design process to refine the digital music player. The development of the iPod shows that good ideas are not hard to find. The important components that make the iPod work were all taken off the shelf (Grossman 68). The FireWire connector that allowed data to be transferred to the iPod much faster than the USB connection used by the rival Nomad was existing technology from Apple. The hard drive for the device was developed by Toshiba without any idea what such a small hard drive could be used for. The battery had already been developed by Sony for cell phones. The iPod was not developed by some lone inventor. A team of designers at Apple worked on the device and used components developed by teams of engineers at other companies (Grossman 66). While the iPod has become a popular electronic device, it also shows that innovation is not always good. The popularity of digital music players has created problems for music producers due to rampant electronic piracy. The Internet was originally created as a network of computers for the military. With the threat of a nuclear attack during the Cold War, the Internet was developed to be a robust computer communications network (Berners-Lee 80). The Internet was not the product of some epiphany. It was steadily developed over several decades before becoming what it is today. Despite being initially developed for military applications, the Internet eventually became a popular computer network for personal and commercial usage. The Internet was not created by some lone inventor. Many teams of individuals worked on developing the network protocols (Berners-Lee 81). These teams worked on developing the Internet over several decades, and these teams worked towards many different outcomes during this time as the network slowly transitioned from a military network to a predominantly civilian network. Many of the developments in the Internet over the years haven’t been a bottom up approach of the best ideas winning. Many of the changes have been enforced in a top down manner to force users to adopt new network protocols (Berners-Lee 81). When changes were not the result of top down pressure, innovation in the Internet was not based on solving an existing problem. Instead, the Internet was frequently a solution in search of a problem. Much of the content on the Internet was created to attract ad revenue instead of being the product of the communication possibilities in the new medium (Berners-Lee 84). Although it accounts for a sizeable portion of the bandwidth, the Internet wasn’t created to stream movies, music, pornography, and e-mail spam. Those applications were developed to use the potential of the Internet. The zipper is one of those devices that was invented independently several times until it caught on. But once it did catch on, the zipper dominated the market in clothing fasteners. The independent discoveries of the zipper show that good ideas are not hard to find (Stringer 18). If the idea was so hard to come up with, multiple people would not have invented it independently. Despite the problems with the zipper after years of use, the convenience factor allowed it to eventually beat out the button that has been around for thousands of years. The difficulty faced by the zipper ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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