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The Pro-Active Innovators: Apple vs Amazon

Alexander Osterwalder

While it was not surprising that Apple and Amazon broke the Trillion Dollar Barrier first, it might surprise you that the two companies have a similar (and replicable) ideology when it comes to innovation:  truly putting the customer first combined with a doggedness to self-disrupt in the midst of success.

Apple and Amazon both hit $1 trillion market capitalization within one month of each other, yet the paths they have carved to achieve this milestone are quite different.  They occupy different areas in our collective mindset, as both bring about a feeling of excitement and novelty — for Apple we desire to know what the next cutting edge device will be while we wonder what industry Amazon will enter and dominate next.

While both behemoths are based in technology with a strong focus on the customer, innovation, creativity and a long-term vision, their business model similarities effectively end there.   

However, their growth engines are both based on a similar ideology:  

  1. Both put the customer at the center of innovation (without a focus on competition).

  2. Both are pro-active innovators:  they manage a portfolio of business models yet are unconstrained by industries and their own success.  Both are willing to push the boundaries and launch new businesses (that both cannibalize and complement existing revenue streams) while they are still successful.

In the end, the two companies have two distinct measurements for success which propelled them to $1TN:  the Value Proposition and the Business Model.

Similar to Scott Galloway of NYU, we expect Amazon to hit the $2TN mark first as it maximizes (and monetizes) the synergies of its Key Resources, Key Activities and Key Partners.

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