From the Publisher: What would Steve Jobs do? To Infinity and Beyond…

I’m a Steve Jobs fan. This man invented two tech industries so far to his credit. He basically made CDs and Word Processors go out of business single handedly. He is the epitome of innovation at its finest. Anyone that can invent an industry (actually several), come to work in jeans and create a corporate culture that embraces employees’ innovation is my version of a modern Ben Franklin. Where would the world be without their computer, iPod and Buzz Lightyear? I’m not sure we’ll see Steve Jobs photo on any currency, but he does “have it” the same way Ben Franklin did.

I wrote a grad school presentation on Steve Jobs and was able to get an interview with Steve Wozniack for the paper. Pretty cool moment in time. Yes, I like Star Trek, too; might as well confess it all.

During the slow economy, which I think is getting much better, innovation has been a huge theme-¦at our events, theme in business journals, theme in economic discussions. Everywhere you go-¦ Innovation.

Surprisingly, not much has been done since the ’80s on innovation tools and benchmarks for us business geeks. That’s sad. No innovation for the innovation field in the past 30 years. Seems ironic. It is truly a missing piece in the business schools of the world. We need innovation benchmarks, tools, resources, case studies-¦how do we know if our companies are being innovative? Some strategic planning courses touch on elements of innovation, but they lack a formula for successful implementation, Michael Porter has some good material there.

I think we’re missing it. Perhaps that is why we have fallen behind a bit in our job creation and world competitiveness. We can’t get our arms around Innovation. “To infinity and beyond” takes on a whole new meaning now. (Pixar, which created “Toy Story,” was co-founded by Steve Jobs.)

So now we just get word that Apple and Jobs is launching the iPad, which they called in the press release, “a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending e-mail, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.”

Pretty cool -“ a touch screen, just a half-inch think, and weighs 1.5 pounds. Plus it will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. Here’s what Steve said in the release: “iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price. iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

Although the iPad is not available till March, no doubt the advance orders are coming in droves. Pretty revolutionary. Pretty innovative.

So in your next team meeting or when you get into an innovation slump, think of Steve Jobs-¦what would he do?