As a marketing manager, John Sculley developed the so-called Pepsi Challenge, which enabled the company to gain market share from Coca-Cola. In the 1980s, Sculley ran Apple — and had a famous run-in with Steve Jobs. Continue reading
Last month, Netflix quietlydeleted all the remaining user reviews on its service. And just like that, CEO Reed Hastings completed the latest shift in his company’s ever evolving strategy: away from the wisdom of crowds in its content recommendations, in favor of the wisdom of the machine. The algorithm is now firmly in charge at Netflix—as it increasingly is across the economy.
The past year has seen a crescendo of fascination with—and fear of—artificial intelligence. This theme is a central feature of the tech backlash buffeting formerly bulletproof companies like Facebook and Google, fueling U.S. congressional hearings and editorial-page outrage. Yet it’s also the most potent new engine for business efficiency, an essential driver of competitive advantage from Amazon to Accenture. Continue reading
Innovation has always been defined quite differently from invention. It used to be that innovation was “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device; a novelty.” In a more modern and revised definition, innovation is “the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.” The definition of innovation has now changed to reflect its differentiation from improvement, in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something differently rather than doing the same thing better. Continue reading
I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real.