In a recently-released TED video, author Simon Sinek explains what he sees as the secret to Apple's success and makes a case for the real reason the company is so innovative--even though it has "the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media."
Sinek argues it's all about the message: most companies start out explaining that they make great products, but Apple is unique in that it begins by telling the consumer why they make their products.
Using an idea he's codified and deemed the "golden circle," Sinek argues that most of us go from the clearest idea to the fuzziest, from the more straightforward "what" to the more abstract "why." Sinek explains that "inspired" organizations, like Apple, think the other way around: from the inside out.
If Apple communicated like most of us, their message would sound something like this, Sinek says: "We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Want to buy one?"
Instead, according to SInek, here's what Apple is actually telling us:
Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?
Sinek links Apple to other innovative leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers, arguing that all three share this unique means of communication: "All the great and inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it's Apple, or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act and communicate the exact same way."
Watch Sinek's lecture below, or read an interactive transcript of his talk on TED here.