Wall Street Doesn't Get Apple or Innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 16, 2006

So we have TheStreet.Com’s senior writer wringing his hands over Apple because it is “holding the line” on spending on innovation and wondering if this frugality will hurt its amazing product development. Oh, when will they ever learn? It isn’t the amount of money spent on R&D, its the innovation efficiency and productivity that counts.

P&G’s spending on R&D has declined (some) under AG Lafely and its innovation has jumped sharply thanks to its use of open-source innovation methods. But bone-heads in the financial arena don’t get innovation and just count the dollars spent on R&D to measure it and project future revenue and profit growth.

TheStreet.Com should give Doblin’s Larry Keeley a call. He can fill them in and maybe help them make a little money too.

And thanks to Signal Vs. Noise for tipping me off on this. It’s one of my favorite innovation/design blogs.

Reader Comments

Victor

March 17, 2006 5:28 PM

Thanks Bruce. To the writer's credit, he does present both sides of the issue, mentioning that "Apple is a good example of a company that gets a lot of bang for its R&D buck."

Where I think he misses the point is in calling Apple "fundamentally a technology company." While the technology is important, it's through design that Apple really innovates and competes, and the IT analysts haven't realized that yet.

I dissected the financials a bit here:
http://noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?p=1867

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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