Every time Apple enters—or seems to even think about entering—another market, we’re barraged with noise about how the company should, or must, or can’t reinvent this industry. Why all the attention? Because Apple has a remarkable track record of having reinvented industries before, and the reward for a job well done is—surprise—another job.
The critical backlash to Apple’s involvement, or rumored involvement, is frequently immediate and vehement: Nothing’s changed! Apple’s failed!
Because it’s not just that people expect these markets to change—it’s that they expect those changes overnight. But these shifts don’t usually happen immediately or catastrophically; more often than not, it’s a gradual, tectonic erosion of the established norms.
At the launch of the iPhone, then CEO Steve Jobs did not hesitate to proclaim, in his usual hyperbolic fashion, that the handset would reinvent the phone.