I would venture a guess that most people use their smartphone primarily for functions other than telephoning, and that listening to music and surfing the Internet are not nearly as used as other applications hosted on the device. Yet, the original iPhone did not have any app options, and, as late as the iPhone3 in 2009, there were no in-app purchases available (all had to be downloaded from the computer via CD.)

Today there are over 2.8 million apps available for the iPhone and another 2.2 million for Android, all accessible with a swipe of a finger. Over $70 billion has been earned from these purchases, and apps are a key reason people have smartphones in the first place.

At the 2007 Macworld Conference and Expo, Steve Jobs famously said: “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” The first iPhone was touted as a combination of three devices: iPod, mobile phone and an Internet communicator, and at the time, a phone that did more than just telephone was revolutionary.

Even Steve Jobs did not immediately foresee the explosion of supplemental products or the revolution he would create for how apps and software were installed, but this new line of apps and direct download have made the devices indispensable for many.

Maybe you don’t need to invent a new product, rather focus on creating an enhancement or service that complements what exists.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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