I miss this guy.

When you boil it down, the electronics giant built upon an existing innovation, the iPhone, to produce a more-advanced, better-selling product. In the process, it transformed itself from a bit player with just 3% of the smartphone market into the market leader.

Despite the lawsuits that they stole design elements from Apple it’s what they have done with the inspiration that matters the most. And it’s a bit ironic since Steve Jobs was notorious for having lifted ideas himself:

Samsung’s strategy–Shenkar dubs it an “innovative imitator”–may lack a certain artistry, but it’s also a path set by Steve Jobs himself, who in a 1996 interview said, “Picasso had a saying, ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” For the iPod, Jobs and Apple borrowed liberally from long-forgotten pioneers such as Diamond Multimedia and Creative Labs; in designing the iPhone, from Palm and HP; in designing the iPad, from Microsoft.

And Samsung’s growth and profit margins have completed the rest of the story.

I love stuff like this and it’s why I feel affirmed in my own strategy for Pressgram – the users are already familiar with a certain type of engagement when it comes to image capture and adding filters – why rock that boat at this point in the game?

Where Pressgram will win is the art of “focused innovation” – innovating where I have an advantage and imitating where I do not. Hat tip to you Steve.