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Airpods: What's The Point Of Innovation?


Our world is in a constant cycle of change. Consistency is a myth. The concept of innovation explores the idea of being able to go further than what is already in place to create something new. In an agile workplace, we strive to produce innovative ideas in an efficient manner, through a process called “scrum”, where individuals partake in tasks over short set periods which we call sprints. In these sprints, tasks are completed to realise prototypes of the latest innovations, so we can have our work fed-back upon before we waste time on redundant ideas.


But, what is the point in going against the grain and trying something new at all. Some people are content in their sameness and in the disillusion of consistency. The world is always changing, some simply allow the current to move them on their paths, coasting through their streamlined life. Others, decide to swim upstream, force their way against the water for a sense of satisfaction, or accomplishment, or betterment. It is easy to ask what the reward of climbing Everest is from the comfort of your armchair, just as it is to ask about whether there is any benefit in designing new ways to produce energy, etc. from the comfort of your office. As Thomas Edison once said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”


Just as solar panels were once seen as a redundant form of renewable energy, once upon a time, it was the people who produced such inventions that could foresee the way this form of energy generation could benefit future generations. In 2020, the United Kingdom had reached the point where 1.5 million homes with residential solar power, having their power generated from the sun. However, in other countries with better weather conditions, such as Australia, this number was surpassed long ago. In 2018, it was reported that a staggering 1.96 million homes were utilising residential solar power, thus demonstrating the significance of the invention, despite the scepticism past. To this day, Australia is still the country with the greatest residential uptake of solar panels.


Equally, and significantly more recently, Simon Sinek said back in 2020, during his YouTube video, Innovation Is Not Efficient, that “innovation is the application of technology or engineering or something to solve a problem.” To follow this up, he added that “there was a solution for a problem that didn’t exist. That’s not innovation, that’s stupid.”


Can you think of one of those supposedly revolutionary technological advances? One that completely blew up in everyone’s faces? I’m not talking about informercials and their use of satire to exaggerate a problem for a wider audience to get their product out to a nicher target audience. No. What I mean, is something that was supposed to make everything so much easier and really failed to do so. The example that comes to mind for me, is very much Apple’s newest advance in headphone technology: the Airpods, which were launched in 2016, with their more successful and mainstream second generation model coming out in 2019. In removing a headphone jack from their devices, it meant that all Apple device users would now have to purchase an expensive product in order to access music etc. And what did competitors do afterwards? Market a cord that kept your Airpods together?


And yet, despite this, Apple has made millions from this newest creation, from selling Airpods, their cases, their chargers, because you now have to charge your headphones etc. People bought into this idea, supposedly to reduce the chance of losing your headphones, and not having to worry about the inconvenience of untangling a wire, but now you see frantic consumers everywhere panicking because they think they lost the little plastic dock for their Airpods in their handbags, jackets etc. What was once a rather cheap and quick thing to replace, with headphones being available to buy at most newsagents in London, Apple’s newest innovation costs a minimum of £159 (May 2021). £159! And because Apple’s technology is constantly evolving to accommodate their newest releases, any mobile device launched after 2016 and the IPhone 7 has been without a headphone jack, isolating the audience, meaning they had to buy Airpods to continue to access music.


If you are looking for a new way to tackle your working environment, and implement the newest corporate innovation: agile practice, into your company, look no further.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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