The Seed of Apple's Innovation

In an era when most technology outfits have tightened their belts to adapt to a slower-growing market, one company stands out for forging ahead on innovation: Apple Computer. Others have slashed R&D and focused on incremental advances to existing product lines. Not Apple.

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Q: Apple has long been an innovative place with lots of smart, passionate engineers. But it seemed to fall off the map in the years before you returned in 1997. What happened?

A: Let's start at the beginning. Both [Apple co-founder] Steve Wozniak and I -- and I think I can speak for Woz -- got our view of what a technology company should be while working for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And the first rule over there was to build great products. Well, Apple invented the PC as we know it, and then it invented the graphical user interface as we know it eight years later [with the introduction of the Mac]. But then, the company had a decade in which it took a nap.

News source: BusinessWeek Online

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