Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2009 (Revised May 2012)

Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

by Stefan H. Thomke and Barbara Feinberg


Describes Apple's approach to innovation, management, and design thinking. For several years, Apple has been ranked as the most innovative company in the world, but how it has achieved such success remains mysterious because of the company's obsession with secrecy. This note considers the ingredients of Apple's success and its quest to develop, in the words of CEO Steve Jobs, insanely great products. Focuses on 1) design thinking, 2) product development strategy and execution, 3) CEO as chief innovator, and 4) bold business experimentation.

Keywords: Design; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Management; Product Design; Product Development; Research and Development; Creativity; Technology Industry;


Thomke, Stefan H., and Barbara Feinberg. "Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple." Harvard Business School Case 609-066, January 2009. (Revised May 2012.)