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Nadworny: Inspiring Innovation

08/19/10 7:55AM By Rich Nadworny
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(HOST) Lately, commentator Rich Nadworny has been watching and reading business news and has come to the conclusion that it was the best of summers, and it was the worst of summers.

(NADWORNY) This summer, depending on what you read, you could have some very different impressions of our economic situation. If you read mostly the business news, you'd likely think that our economy is in deep trouble, with persistent, high unemployment, a volatile stock market, banks unwilling to lend, and businesses unwilling to invest.

If you read about business technology, you'd most likely be reading about Apple Computer, including news of a recently released iPad with huge growth numbers, a new, innovative iPhone 4, and record profits. Not even a defect in the new phone could slow this story down. Apple quickly swatted away the glitch and replaced it with news of more, new products. In a time of deep recession Apple is selling more of its expensive products then ever. How are they doing that?

Apple has never stopped innovating. Their bar is amazingly high, when it comes to both how people use their products and what they look like. They've never given up what author Seth Godin calls the pursuit of "remarkable." For the most part, Apple refuses to settle for mediocre.

The new iPad is a perfect example. I'm not sure I'd call it "the Jesus tablet," as others have, or that it's going to save newspapers, as some have hoped. But it's one of the best and most unique media devices I've ever used. It's so good, in fact, I'm actually going out to buy one for my mother! And she is not always so easy to please.

And while the iPhone has some new and even revolutionary features, most of the chatter recently revolved around the less than stellar antenna. But when Apple offered to provide a special case to solve the issue, the chatter rapidly changed to people who couldn't wait to receive their cases!

When I see Apple's success, the only other company that I think consistently reaches their high standards over time is... Pixar. I love every movie they make. Actually, I think they've won an Oscar for every single feature film they've created. Talk about remarkable. And who's the CEO of Pixar? Steve Jobs, of course!

Imagine if we all tried to do our jobs the way he does. Imagine if we never settled but always pushed to do something incredible. Imagine if the people running BP or the Congress acted like that. I doubt we'd have a summer of oil spills, compromise bills  or fealty to large lobbyists.

Here's what I'd love to see: I'd love to see our teachers, politicians, business owners and others start their day by coming to work and asking themselves: How would Steve Jobs do my job? What would my work look like if I worked for him? I'd bet we'd see more innovative classrooms, laws from Montpelier that inspired people, and products and services that delighted customers.

Now that would be news to read about.
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