Innovation means killing your darlings

In the bloodsport of Silicon Valley, you either eat your young or get eaten. It's a Darwinian “Battle Royale” where the fittest innovators binge on their own products while the bloated cash cows get turned into veal cutlets.

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👇 Today’s Briefing

  • Insight: The Power of Preemptive Innovation 🧬

  • Story: Apple's Big Fat Cannibalization Fest 🍎

  • Action: Embrace the Art of Eating Your Own Young 🍴


The Power of Preemptive Innovation 🧬

"If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will."

Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, understood that the key to staying ahead of the curve in the cutthroat world of tech is to disrupt your own products before someone else does.

  1. You must eat your young: Companies brave enough to devour their own offerings, paving the way for novel creations, reaped a staggering 30% more revenue than their timid counterparts.

  2. You can’t just be a spectator: Companies that actively foster a culture of innovation find themselves 3.5 times more likely to leave their peers in the dust.

When you combine these two principles, you've got a strategy that's more effective than a double dose of Viagra and a bottle of whiskey — such as:

  • Amazon’s Kindle disrupted traditional book sales.

  • Microsoft’s subscription-based Office 365 killed licensing.

  • Gillette’s cheaper razors ate sales for higher-end models.

  • Duracell’s rechargeable batteries cannibalized disposable sales.

The more you embrace the art of eating your own young (figuratively speaking, of course), the more you create a culture of innovation that can propel your company to new heights.


Apple's Big Fat Cannibalization Fest 🍎

Imagine a world where a company is so batshit crazy, they're willing to eat their own babies. No, not like some twisted, tech-themed episode of The Walking Dead, but in a figurative sense.

That company is Apple, and they've made a name for themselves by cannibalizing their own products like a pack of ravenous zombies at an all-you-can-eat brain buffet.

If Apple didn't have the balls to disrupt their own products, some other company would come along and do it for them. And Jobs was not about to let that happen.

🎵 iPod, Meet Your Replacement

Remember the iPod? That sleek little music player that was like crack for your ears? Well, Apple sure did, and they loved it so much that they decided to create something even better: the iPhone. 📱

The iPhone was like a Swiss Army knife for your pocket, combining a phone, an internet communicator, and gasp an iPod. Did Apple care that the iPhone would eat into iPod sales? Hell no! They knew that the iPhone was the future.

💻 MacBook Air: Thin Is In

When Apple birthed the MacBook Air, it was like they'd put their laptop lineup on a crash diet and liposuction combo. This sleek, lightweight little minx was so thin, you could use it to slice cheese.

The MacBook Air was so sexy, it started stealing sales from Apple's other laptop models faster than a kleptomaniac at a Best Buy. Did Apple give a flying f**k? Nope! They just kept making the Air better and better.

🏠 HomePod: Siri's New Crib

In 2018, Apple was like, "Hey Siri, want a new place to live?" and thus, the HomePod was born. This smart speaker was like a luxury condo for Siri, complete with 360-degree sound and a price tag that made your wallet cry.

But wait, didn't Apple already have a speaker line called Beats? Yep, and the HomePod basically said, "Beats, you're great and all, but it's time for you to move out." Apple knew smart speakers were the way of the future.

💸 Apple Pay: Slaying the iTunes Dragon

When Apple unleashed Apple Pay upon the world, they were basically saying, "iTunes, you've been great, but it's time for you to step aside."

Apple Pay let people buy stuff without needing iTunes gift cards or credits, which was like telling iTunes, "I love you, but I've found someone new." Apple knew that mobile payments were the wave of the future.

That’s how Apple has made an art form out of eating its own young. It's like a tech version of "Saturn Devouring His Son," only instead of being creepy as hell, it's actually kind of brilliant.

Key takeaway: Sometimes, you gotta have the balls to take a bite out of your own success to create something truly game-changing. If you can do it like Apple, you might just change the f**king world.


Embrace the Art of Eating Your Young 🍴

Here's how to channel your inner Steve Jobs and make self-cannibalization your secret weapon for innovation:

  1. Schedule regular "Disrupt Yourself" sessions (block off time each week to brainstorm ways to improve or replace your own products)

  2. Break your products down to their core components (Think, "How can we make this better, faster, or cheaper?")

  3. Anticipate the future needs of your customers (put yourself in your customers' shoes and imagine what they'll want next)

  4. Allocate resources to your most promising innovations (don't let your cash cows starve your next big thing)

  5. Celebrate your self-disruptions like Olympic victories (make self-disruption a badge of honor in your company culture

By deliberately making self-cannibalization a core part of your innovation strategy, you're basically giving your company a pre-emptive strike against obsolescence (as a reminder, thanks to Aaron Sorkin, here’s what the opposite looks like).

Memes of the Week 🤣 

Bite-Sized Reads 📚

[Read]: Econ: “Strategic self-cannibalism can generate crucial long-term benefits, but requires accuracy in foresight and timing…”

[Read] CNET: “Why did Jobs keep refusing to acknowledge the Apple II team?”

[Read] IMD: “What is the secret that allows these incumbents to fend off the startups aiming to displace them?”

What do you think of today's edition?👇

Publisher: Jordan Belfort

Editors in Chief: Brock Swinson and Davis Richardson

DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly for educational purposes and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research. 

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