Innovation

What the founder of vaporizer maker Firefly learned from working at Apple

From Apple to Burning Man to Firefly, renaissance man Mark Williams reveals lessons he's learned about innovation throughout the past 25 years.

"What was really more impactful and lasting...was a different standard of achievement that was expected by the company," Firefly co-founder Mark Williams said about his time at Apple.

Williams met with TechRepublic's Dan Patterson to discuss how he took what he learned from working at Apple and applied it to what he's doing now.

Before co-founding Firefly, a company that makes vaporizers, Williams worked at Apple for several years building Mac OS X. After leaving the company, what he took away most was a change in perspective.

The level of rigor at Apple and lack of satisfaction with mediocre approaches lifted my bar in terms of how far one needs to go to produce a great product, he said.

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Williams attributed Apple's success to frequent involvement with stakeholders, and driving the team's communication on a consistent basis. These are two simple, yet important habits any type of company can use to achieve success.

When Williams got involved with Firefly six years ago, he wanted to invent new products. However, running the business got in the way of that. He suggested that people who want to begin their own venture to first ask, "What's your role going to be?" and "What's your transition plan around that?"

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Williams said staying nimble, being prepared to pivot, and getting good legal and financial advice has helped him deal with controversy in the new market for vaporizers. He also says referring back to his own experiences has helped: "As you're looking ahead, there's nothing like looking to your own life first, because you've got a lot of depth of experience in your own life."

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Image: iStock/Pinkypills

About Leah Brown

Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.

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