Before he became a fulltime college drop-out, Steve Jobs attended various courses chosen exclusively on the quality of sounding exciting. One of the courses, calligraphy, later provided the idea for the fonts of Macintosh.

Favorite example of the world, Apple, is in fact one long string of examples of how development is driven by things that are different, surprising approaches, that the pioneer spirit is of great value (and maybe the only one of real value!), and that a mistake can easily turn out to be an early stage of success. NEXT has caught one of the strategic thinkers of Apple, Clark Dodsworth, to share some of his formulas for success.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007, and ushered in a new and mobile centre for the sharing of the world’s knowledge, it was proclaimed to be as a gigantic mistake, a flop, by most critics. But the iPhone was, once again, one of Apple’s many examples of their strategic and holistic approach, in chains rather than individual products, and their uncompromising insistence on user experience.

One of the thinkers behind Apple’s successful products is NEXT speaker Clark Dodsworth. His thoughts are also the basis of the technical venture of EU’s sixth framework programme. He invented the expression ’ambient intelligence’, and is the man behind Philips’ current product philosophy and their entire digital product catalogue. Today Clark is counseling independently from his company Osage Associates, but he still has his finger placed on the spot, from which most companies won’t notice the pulse until later.

Clark delivers clear messages. Apple once contacted him to get a lot faster to adapt to the world’s changeable circumstances. His answer was: ’Rely uncompromising and steady on the user’s inputs to a process of development.’

Today single product development is more or less being replaced by ecosystem thinking. If you aren’t capable of placing your product in a context – and maybe even design that context – you can forget all about being successful.

With the market of the smartphone, the door to the semantic web’s era is open, pervasive computing, ambient intelligence and hundreds of other expressions for the technological future with merging types of computers which respond intelligently on our behaviour instead and not the other way around.

Everything changes, and the only way to get organised is to be dynamic. That means, you have to be prepared for constant changeability, and not being much conserned about the current shift. It requires the right approach and the right tools. The tool developing process is divided into three stages – empathetic pragmatism: Intuition and widely knowledge updates are central when creating tools for a changing world. Perspective: The users point of view is the internal perspective and Work: All theory must be put into practice – is must be tested in reality, and it must work. A scythe is actually a nice example of a good tool – no straight lines, everything is designed to match use and user. Nobody has to spend more than 10 seconds finding out, how to hold and use a scythe. This is the way all software and product development should be like according to the man whose thoughts have had a massive influence on the way our everyday life is working.