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The One Device - Great innovation is a team sport

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Thomas Debouverie
Expert Software Engineer, EASI

The One Device

The book, subtitled “The Secret History of the iPhone”, is definitely worth reading. You can feel it was a little rushed to benefit from the marketing waves of the 10th anniversary. However, if you are even slightly interested in the history of technology, it has enormous value.

-the first iphone mobile smartphone

The first iPhone

It explains how all the technology required for the smartphone era came together: multitouch screens, gorilla glass, lifelike animations, low-consumption processors, modern batteries, GPS and other sensors, cellular networks… The list goes on and on. All of these parts are essential, and some go back as far as the 60s and 70s, sometimes even further.

As expected from a book centered on the iPhone, Steve Jobs is a prominent character. However he is not put on a pedestal. The book gives instead a very inspiring picture on how he was only one member of a very large and talented team.

The Myth of the Lone Inventor

The cult of personality is one of our modern era’s components. We love to admire men and women with strong personalities who seem capable of accomplishing on their own more than we ever could.

Steve Jobs is a fine example. The great successes of Apple after his return as CEO like the iMac, MacBook and iPod, make him look like saving the company was the work of a single man. When he appeared on stage to declare that “they had reinvented the phone”, the media was quick to accredit him with creating this revolutionary device.

There are many examples of this phenomenon: Henri Ford or Elon Musk, to give an older and a more modern example. The truth is much more complex. Up to the hundreds of people contribute to all the required discoveries and steps leading to great inventions.

Of course the contributions of these great men and leaders must not be downplayed. Their role was crucial, but it is also important to uplift all the other individuals that contributed to a valuable innovation.

Great Place to Innovate

On a smaller scale, anyone can have ideas to improve the quality of life of their colleagues, the productivity of their customers, or even initiate brand new products. These ideas need then to be discussed, refined, and tested to become real innovations. For that, you need support, time and the attention of colleagues and management. At EASI, we are fortunate to have that always available.

A few colleagues recently had a great idea to stimulate innovation on a bigger scale. The basics are to give a platform to all employees to bring forward ideas for new products and encourage collaboration between teams. Projects born from such ideas will be followed directly by the initial instigator.

You can expect more details about this project as soon as it becomes more concrete.

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