Peter Drucker once said that innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage, and most who have thought about it would agree.
However, in most situations, this commitment to innovation tends to result in more and more potential products and technical solutions, adding complication and cost to every business process.
By contrast, Apple does the opposite, led by Steve Jobs, Apple ruthlessly eliminates all but a very few, and then ensures that the products left on the list are done remarkably well, and remarkably differently.
In 1998 Jobs reduced the products in Apples inventory from 350 to 10, tough love that has resulted in the resources to redevelop the iPod, iPad, and iPhone, rather than spreading themselves thinly across the many products that they already had, and that beckoned.
To be remarkable, (remarkable is Seth Godin’s term, it works!) Apple has removed features, no buttons on a phone, no dials on an iPod, taking seriously the designers mantra that perfection in design is achieved when there is nothing superfluous to the functionality left to remove, rather than all that can be added has been.