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Innovation in the context of big companies is a far different and more subtle thing than innovation in a startup context. A lot of the innovation large companies do is never really seen--not even in the sense that it isn't customer impacting, but rather in the sense that you never see the innovation that goes into simple functions that you take for granted.

For instance, Apple is immensely innovative in terms of designing manufacturing processes. Do you see the results? You might notice that Apple products have more fit and finish, but the results are measured in millimeters at most. The end result is not as earthshaking as a whole new product category would be.

Even more striking is any large web property. Any idiot could write a working version of Twitter, Amazon, StackExchange, or maybe even YouTube in a week. Scaling these to actually work at scale takes immense levels of innovation. But if you use these sites every week since they have been launched, you might not see any of that.




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