… Or perhaps you get fans like this because of an excellent design strategy.

(Read more on Gizmondo)

Perhaps apple won’t make this MacBook Touch type of slim notebook (I would agree with Gizmondo that a small/slim notebook more like the Lenovo Thinkpad X-series is more in line with what Apple would do, and what would make sense in generating revenue), for quite some time yet. However Apple’s design department get ideas and design concepts from their fan and customer group. Have you ever seen Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, or Microsoft getting this type of mockups of potential products for them to produce “designed” by their customers?

Now then, design and product development is just one part (and not the most costly) of getting a new product to market, but it lessens the big risk between the “speculation” of a product/service design that your are making and what the market would actually buy, so I would argue that Apple has a great benefit from all this mockup’s and speculations floating around on the Internet.

Stefan Engeseth is right on the spot here with his book “One”.

But why do not Sony-Ericsson or Nokia get the same attention? With mock-ups of potential new and cool mobile phones?

I think it is because Apple built a “cult” around it’s design (and interaction design), and the design department at Apple report directly to the top management of the company, which is something you won’t see in almost any other consumer/computer/electronics company. I think it’s because of their attention to these matters, that they have attracted customers and “fans” that value these things, and come up with new ideas around it.

At one point Apple (or rather Steve Jobs) decided that one of Apple’s core values and “Key differentiators” is design and interaction, and by making the design department report directly to the top-management Apple made a clear statement internally and externally how important this is.

So my lesson as an Entrepreneur here (which I already knew, but need to remind myself of every now and then); is how important a focused and well executed brand strategy is. And it’s as simple as to find your core values and differentiators that will make your product and services distinctly different than the competition, and dare to “kill your darlings”, by making choices that also eliminate some potential customers but makes you more appealing for a group that identify themselves with those core values. And by building this into the culture of your organization, it will be a part of everything you do.

PS: I would actually buy a very slim MacBook Touch (half a page size iPhone type of device), so I do hope Apple will make one, and even though the tablet PC’s have not been a huge success, perhaps the general market is ready for an smaller tablet type device soon. Building a company that makes such a device is actually in my “business idea backlog” (but this is a though business to build from scratch!)

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