Like most people, you probably think that former Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs is something of a creative genius. While he was nothing short of a business mastermind, much of the credit he and Apple have taken for the company’s innovative products can be attributed elsewhere.
Some thanks should be given to Kane Kramer, for instance. Kramer was a British inventor who came up with the original idea for an iPod-like contraption, the IXI DAP, in 1979. His sketches of the product look remarkably similar to one of Apple’s most famous products, the most successful portable media player in the world. Although Apple cleared $128 billion in sales in 2011 and the company freely admitted to stealing his work, Kramer was never paid for his innovative efforts.
iTunes, too, is based on the creative innovation of others. The design for the world’s largest music vendor came from SoundJam, an early MP3 player for Mac OS. Apple bought SoundJam in 2000, setting the stage for a platform that has sold 16 billion songs.
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