The article is full of great anecdotes and insights, mostly from a Michael Lopp/John Gruber panel at SXSW, but the factoid I've been repeating most this week is this one (bolds mine):
Apple designers expect to design 10 different mockups of any new feature under consideration. And these are not just crappy mockups; they all represent different, but really good, implementations that are faithful to the product specifications.
Then, by using specified criteria, they narrow these 10 ideas down to three options, which the team spends months further developing…until they finally narrow down to the one final concept that truly represents their best work for production.
This approach is intended to offer enormous latitude for creativity that breaks past restrictions. But it also means they inherently plan to throw away 90% of the work they do. I don’t know many organizations for which this would be an acceptable ratio. Your CFO would probably declare, “All I see is money going down the drain.” This is a major reason why I say you can’t innovate like Apple.
Would your company be willing to work on nine things you fully intend to throw away, just to get to one thing that's awesome?