When Steve Jobs introduced the “Think Different” advertising campaign on his return to the helm of Apple, in 1997, the slogan was not just aimed at consumers. It was also meant to inspire those inside the struggling company to innovate for the future.
Of course, what followed is now the story of one of the most successful companies in American history: a decade when Apple transformed the music industry with the iPod, the mobile-phone industry with the iPhone, and now the publishing industry with the iPad.
Apple succeed partly because it decided to take a different path than its competitors in the tech industry, and consumers followed. The history of business is filled with similar tales. Just look at what happened to Detroit’s Big Three after the arrival of Japanese automakers in the United States.