July 30, 2014

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Are tech giants like Apple losing their creative edge? Credit: Nina Helmer / Flickr Creative Commons

Apple and other tech giants made their names because of breakthrough innovations. For Apple, it was the iMac and the iPhone. For Microsoft, it was Windows. For Twitter, it was, well, Twitter.

But there are complaints that creativity at Apple, in particular, may be waning.

Farhad Manjoo, tech columnist at The New York Times, and Roger McNamee, a tech investor who has advised everyone from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, gave us their thoughts on the issue. 

"This is a common view, and it's one that I totally disagree with," says Manjoo. "The idea of Apple as being this company that just gives us magical new things, rather than improved things, is totally wrong. It gives us a new product and then each year it iterates. That's the soul of Apple. So I don't think it's acting differently at all from the time when Steve Jobs was around."

Manjoo believes that major product developments, such as the creation of the iPhone, are rare events, and we should stop expecting them on a yearly basis.

"It's a mistake to think there's going to be anything on the level of the smartphone anytime soon. The smartphone was a huge breakthrough and changed the way we thought we interacted with computers on a profound way. It's a huge thing. And I think it's almost ungrateful to just keep wanting huge innovations on that order every few years."

McNamee agrees that it is unreasonable to constantly expect major, disruptive technologies, but he thinks Apple has room for improvement.

"I absolutely agree with that fundamental point that Farhad is making. But I would suggest that Apple is not doing its best work today. You see exactly the same thing at Microsoft and at Twitter and at Yahoo: These companies are one good night's sleep away from much better times than what they are experiencing right now."

What could these companies do better? And why does McNamee think that Apple and Facebook should become banks? Listen to the full clip, above.

Farhad Manjoo, Roger McNamee, Microsoft, Business, Apple, technology

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