I have been thinking a lot lately about people’s reactions to the recent Apple announcements. The most common feedback I hear is the “OMG $1000 phone?!?!?”, but let’s save my thoughts on that for another day.

When I read this Forbes article about Apple and Nissan, I reflected on why I appreciate these types of companies: their willingness to embrace innovation but not be afraid to fail.

When the Apple Watch was first announced, there was the inevitable comparison to Garmins, Fitbits, etc., but rather than getting lost trying to chase their competition they released what they thought was the answer to the problems their customers were having. Was it perfect? No, but did it solve some problems for me? Yes. Did millions of people buy the Watch on day one? No. (or I guess we don’t really know)

The largest lesson I take away from their approach while working with clients is that it’s ok to fail or not completely live up to expectations. The key to success is in the iteration and constant improvement. Apple didn’t stop with the first version of the Apple Watch; they kept iterating and improving their product. They learned from their early mistakes and made their product better. The most successful products are ones that are built to solve problems and continually improve. No product can be perfect out of the gate. Good teams should expect change, not be alarmed by it, and be prepared to adapt to the needs of their customers.

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