Apple was making huge inroads into the hearts and minds of the customers - especially non-Mac users who had no previous experience with the iconic brand. At the same time it was gaining expertise, knowledge and experience in small portable gadgets learning how consumers interacted with these, learning what were the missing pieces in the existing gadgets and most importantly, building key connections with the network of suppliers, developers and other network participants who would eventually make the iPhone a resounding success. Meanwhile, smart phones were becoming popular with consumers and Blackberries were the norm for the corporate markets. When Apple fired its second salvo in the battle for mobile phones, it was still not fully ready in the traditional sense. For example, most corporate IT barons scoffed at the idea of using iPhones for corporate emails and networks because of the missing security features. Even the cameras on the first version were far more basic than those on the other smartphones on the market at that time. However, the first iPhone was still an outstanding success. This can be attributed to its massive consumer following from iPods, 'cool' advertising, far superior user experience, reputation for delivering on its promise, and a number of sticky and unique features which were marketed very well. Behind the scenes, Apple had already assembled an outstanding network of suppliers ranging from Foxconn - the Chinese assembler to Fingerworks - the developer of the then-unique touch screen software, to the ARM—the licenser of the CPU. Working closely in a huddle with these suppliers, each sworn to secrecy, Apple retained its leadership position in product development time compared to its competitors by outpacing them significantly, while at the same time raising the product quality to levels that leapfrogged the competitors. Its innovations were truly disruptive in the industry, even though it always leapfrogged the competitors rather than take the low road to disruption as suggested by Clayton Christensen in his theory. The disruption in the industry is evident from the fact the RIM - the maker of Blackberry - is now on the ropes unsure of its own financial future.Having fired the first salvos in the battle of the mobile phones - Apple moved on to the next steps. It started taking aim towards its final goal of market domination. It expanded its network of suppliers by a factor of hundreds of thousands by releasing the SDK (software development kit) for the Apps for iPhones and iPod touch. Millions of Apps have now been released, each tested and approved by Apple to perform to its standards, making the developers big stakeholders in the success of iPhones.As stated famously by the renowned management guru, Peter Drucker "Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." An ability to innovate is the Fire burning inside the boiler of an enterprise that makes it successful and enduring. So it should not be a surprise that the first cornerstone of 5 STAR Business Networks is related to innovation. You will also discover why we call it Fire-Aim-Ready (FAR) innovation and why the companies that practise this achieve far superior results.To some extent, every business innovates at some time. A new product, a new way of making old products or at least new technologies to build or supply the products or services occasionally show up on the radar screen on most businesses. Many other businesses, such as 3M, have made innovation their hallmark of fame. Most other businesses lie somewhere in the middle of the continuum of possibilities in this respect. The key questions are, however, how do super-networked businesses innovate better than the rest of the businesses and do their results match the expectations. While researching the pace of innovation, I was not surprised to note that no other topic besides leadership has prompted more business books than the issue of innovation. In fact, after my research associates accumulated more than 550 summaries of business books on the topic of innovation, I had to stop them from collecting any more. It was simply impossible to go through any more of them and be able to discern any new thoughts. A listing in any business directory should boost your visibility both on and offline.