The Yin and the Yang of Corporate Innovation, Apple & Google CEO shifts in leaders | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"Apple and Google take very different paths to innovation, but the gap between their approaches may be closing ."

The New York Times, interviews John Kao, an innovation adviser to corporations and governments — and a jazz pianist — pre-performance and talk at the pending 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

A few excerpts:

The Google model relies on rapid experimentation and data.  It takes a bottom-up approach to customers as participants and partners in product design.

The Apple model is more edited, intuitive and top-down.  Regarding market research into Apple designs, Steve Jobs' standard answer was none. “It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want,” he would add.

From these yin/yang cultures, we have this final quote in the article:

In the months after Larry Page, the Google co-founder, took over as chief executive last April, the company eliminated a diverse collection of more than two dozen projects, a nudge toward top-down leadership.

And Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s C.E.O., will almost surely be a more bottom-up leader than Mr. Jobs.

“What we’re likely to see,” Mr. Kao says, “is Google and Apple each borrowing from the playbook of the other.”