I was totally impressed yesterday afternoon at the Apple store when replacing a damaged iPhone with a new one.

I’ve been through the experience several times over the years to upgrade to new models, and each time, it’s abundantly clear that Apple is continuing to re-make the retail experience.

An associate greeted us at the front entrance. Plugged a couple minimum bits of information into the (very slick and well-designed) software on his iPhone, and managed the entire transaction from the palm of his hand. All nearly instantaneous, digital, mobile, seamless.

I even signed the receipt with my finger on his iPhone screen.

The thing is, this is Apple’s secret sauce. They re-imagine an existing experience, then build the new approach.

The software interface. The publishing process. The portable music experience. The on-line method of buying digital assets. The phone. The tablet. Distributed app development. And on and on.

Re-imagination is not enough to create a business – you also need superb execution. But without re-imagination, you’re left with incremental improvements or marginal efficiency gains as a business model.

Perhaps we need to train our next generation of business people to continually ask two questions:

Why this?

And why not that?

Ha! This post by Dan Pallotta just showed up in my tweetstream, published yesterday at Harvard Business Review on-line. Talk about mind-meld!!


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

2 Responses to Re-Imagination

  1. Mary says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Been using Apple products for 6 years and it’s still fun to go to the store. Not just the employees, but even the people are much better behaved. Even though it’s always crowded, no one is grumpy, no pushing or shoving, people patiently wait for their turn and have this eager anticipation for whatever product they are there to check out. It’s like a Place out of this world!

  2. Bill Senger says:

    Apple’s technical support has the tenacity of a pit bull. Their techs have spent hours helping me resolve problems (usually with Office products) and they are all native English speakers. Their business plan is all about user experience, and they do it better than any other company.

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