In this excerpt from "The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs," author Carmine Gallo recounts what Steve Jobs told Nike CEO Mark Parker, and how this is a glimpse into Apple's strategy of focused simplicity.
"When you're talking about shoes, I start thinking about the collaboration from a performance angle," says Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. "You know, I'm cutting, changing directions, jumping. Performance is priority No. 1." But he also draws from another playbook. "I get design inspiration from a myriad of things," he says. "People, animals, weather." For his first shoe with Nike, the 2K4, Bryant's concept was the great white shark. "I was attracted to it for its simplicity and sleek aggressiveness."
What's the difference between a CEO with a management background and one with a design DNA? Nike's president and CEO Mark Parker is the answer. He began his career as a designer inside the company, where he would often modify and customize shoes for himself (a practice he continues to this day). Creative innovation has been essential to his success, and he gives design a seat at the table "with senior management at the
company helping to shape strategy and direction for the company."