Alessi and Apple on innovation

Brands and their beliefs are important to define company culture, more important sometimes are the attitudes of their executives and how they give direction. 

Below are two examples of beliefs that challenged the conventional wisdom and gave new meanings to their product developments and brands.

Below is Alessi's CEO Alberto Alessi's theory on innovation:

We tend always to work, almost spontaneously I would say, in a land inhabited by desires of people, still largely undiscovered... and this, as we know is a zone with high, extremely high turbulence... We walk on the streets that have not yet been opened, on unknown paths to reach the heart of people... We move on enigmatic borderline between what could become real (objects really loved and owned by people) and what will never become real (objects too far from what people are ready and willing to want). This practice of borderline is difficult and risky, and asks for awareness and commitment from each one of us, in each of our roles. Our mission is to stay as close as possible to the borderline, although we know it is not clearly drawn and that there is a risk of going beyond it... but what an emotion when with a new project we get close to it... Mass manufactures keep as far as possible from the borderline because they want to avoid any risk... but in this way, slowly, they all produce the same cars and the same TV's. 

Steve Jobs and his view of customer feedback and product.

My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product. So, you know, I obviously believed in listening to customers, but customers can't tell you about the next breakthrough that's going to happen next year that's going to change the whole industry. So you have to listen very carefully. But then you have to go and sort of stow away -- you have to go hide away with people that really understand the technology, but also really care about the customers, and dream up this next breakthrough. And that's my perspective, that everything starts with a great product.