The explosion of technology in the 21st century led to the creation of tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. They managed to turn their products and services into solid gold by breaking all the rules and creating new ones to fit their game plan.
Most tech giants seem to follow the same playbook: Begin with a plan to disrupt an existing industry, use huge amounts of capital injections to grow as rapidly as possible, play the risk-taking game in a rush for market domination, and then ensure to maintain competitive advantage.
They have mastered the impossible and these money-making titans are paving the future of the digital age. Here are 3 of the most valuable lessons that we can learn from some of the world’s leading tech giants.
Know your user and put them first
The success of any business starts with identifying unmet customer needs. Understanding their frustrations gives you a road map to a successful solution. Cordell Ratzlaff, one the Mac OS X operating system architects noted in an interview:
“We did the design first. We focused on what we thought people would need and want, and how they would interact with their computer. We made sure we got that right, and then we went and figured out how to achieve it technically.”
Without even knowing if the technology is possible Apple puts the quality of the user experience above all. This approach paid off tremendously in the first month of Apple’s iPad launch when they sold a million devices, the fastest product ramp in history according to Yankee Group analyst, Carl Howe.
Employees are your most valuable players
There is a saying that goes: “People innovate, not companies”. If you want to run an extraordinary company, it has to be filled with extraordinary people.
You have probably heard about Google's unique culture: free food, nap pods, video games, foosball, ping pong, and even massage therapists on site. If you’ve ever seen the Googleplex in California you might think of it as an adult playground rather than an office, but Google hardly ever does anything without having the data to back it up.
Their employee satisfaction levels rose with 37%, and as a result the company saw a 12% rise in overall productivity. The culture that they implement has become an essential part of their success.
Former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock mentioned the following:
“All it takes is a belief that people are fundamentally good and enough courage to treat your people like owners instead of machines. Machines do their jobs; owners do whatever is needed to make their companies and teams successful.”
Innovate, think far beyond the box
Thomas A. Edison said it best: “There is way to do it better. Find it.”. Innovation isn’t just about having the best idea or the best technology, it’s about the ability to solve real world problems and even take it a step further by finding a solution to a problem that the user is still unaware of.
In 2019 Huawei invested almost $19 billion on research and development, this investment lead them to a record $122 billion annual revenue in that same year. Successful companies who put innovation as a top priority know that new opportunities can only be found through exploration.
Every year, new ideas come flooding out of the tech hub, Silicon Valley. Think Uber, AirBnB and Netflix. There is a lot to learn from the way that they innovate, instead of just improving an existing product, they go back to the key question, “How would I solve this problem today?” Constantly finding new ways to solve old problems is a brilliant way of continuously innovating.
There is a lot more to learn from companies like Microsoft, Stripe, Facebook, Autodesk, WeChat, you name them. Learn from their successes, learn from their failures, build on what works, and be bold enough to make your own rules.