One day in 2007, midway through a five-hour PowerPoint presentation, Scott Cook realized that he wasn’t another Steve Jobs. At first it was a bitter disappointment. Like many entrepreneurs, Cook wanted the company he had cofounded to be like Apple—design driven, innovation intensive, wowing consumers year in and year out with fantastic offerings. But that kind of success always seemed to need a powerful visionary at the top.
This article is about how Cook and his colleagues at the software development company Intuit found an alternative to the Steve Jobs model: one that has enabled Intuit to become a design-driven innovation machine. Any corporation—no matter how small or prosaic its business—can make the same grassroots transformation if it really wants to.