Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs’ Biographer, Walter Isaacson, Claims Google is Now the Top Innovator

January 17, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

All companies want to be innovative, and when it comes to consumer products, Apple has had its fair share of that stage.  The first real home computer came from Apple, the Apple II, followed closely by the IIe, then IIGS, and finally the infamous Macintosh – even its revealing was innovative with its memorable 1984 Super Bowl ads, but most importantly, it was the first computer to offer a graphical interface and the first real use for a mouse. Enter 1998 and the new iMac was revealed – not only the first all-in-one colored computer, but also the first Apple product to include the “i” prefix in the name.  Their iBook hit the market in 1999 and Apple really took hold of the consumer laptop industry.

In 2001, Apple really defined themselves with the iPod and iTunes and forever changed the way we purchased and listened to music.  Another forward thinking idea was the 2001 creation of the Apple Store, where customers were encouraged to demo the devices in the store.  In 2007, enter the iPhone, where Apple combined a cellphone, iPod, Camera (2MP), and Web Browsing in one touchscreen device – this device changed and defined the way future smartphones would be designed.  To go along with the iPhone, Apple developed the App Store in 2008 and in 2010, they brought us the iPad, and at the time, I doubt that even Steve Jobs realized what an impact it would have on the PC world.

I know this article is about the new innovator – Google – but we have to give credit where credit is due. When Steve Jobs was running Apple they created some amazing devices, although some would say that he kept recycling the iPhone and, to this day, it is basically the same device and the operating system has had little change. One could quite honestly ask the question, “What would have happened to the iPhone if Google’s Android devices were not around to challenge the iPhone,” would it even have notifications, for instance, if Android had not pushed them? Android is one way that Google is definitely more innovative – with each rendition of Android they keep adding features and options that, even today, iPhone users can only dream of doing – a simple thing as widgets and live wallpapers are perfect examples.

Moving away from smartphones – where is all of the forward thinking coming from lately – Google, and according to Isaacson, that’s where it will continue. Google has the foresight to see how they perceive the future will operate and they are either developing their own ideas – like self-driving cars, robots, or Glass – or they are strategically buying up companies that will fit as a piece in their giant corporate puzzle – like Waze or YouTube. When asked about their most recent purchase of Nest, Isaacson said their vision exemplifies their,  “amazingly strong integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives, from our car, to our navigation system, to how our garage doors are going to open.” Isaacson also pointed out that with the purchase of Nest, comes their co-founder and CEO, Tony Fadell, who was the brains behind the iPod at Apple – another creative mind and innovator now working for Google.

Isaacson says that it is Apple that must play catch up with Google and said:

“I think Steve Jobs would have wanted as the next disruptive thing to either have wearable-like watches or TV, an easy TV that you can walk into the room and say put on ‘Squawk Box’ … or disrupt the digital camera industry or disrupt textbooks…We ought to see in 2014, Apple do something huge.”

Daniel Ernst, principal at tech-focused Hudson Square Research, agreed and said:

“For the last two years, Cook continues to hint … there are things we do that we have expertise in that would lend itself to other categories that we’re not in. Let’s give them the whole calendar year. But I think that the unanimous answer among Apple investors is that this better be the year. There’s only so long the boy can cry wolf.”

Google has the money and the desire to continue to innovate by not being afraid to try new and sometimes far-fetched ideas, like the self-driving car – yes, with today’s eyes it seems like a ridiculous concept, but through a pair of innovative eyes, we must see that it is the future and Google wants to make sure they are the first ones to perfect the idea. Whatever Apple had, seems to have faded – lighter, thinner, more powerful – is not innovation, not even a revolutionary, but merely evolutionary – and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

Let us know on our Google+ Page what you think – is Google more innovative than Apple at this point – what do you think will be the next big thing in technology innovation and will Google be the one doing the innovating.

Source: CNBC