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The Seed of Apple's Innovation

CEO Steve Jobs says among other practices, it's saying no to 1,000 things so as to concentrate on the really important creations

In an era when most technology outfits have tightened their belts to adapt to a slower-growing market, one company stands out for forging ahead on innovation: Apple Computer (AAPL ). Others have slashed R&D and focused on incremental advances to existing product lines. Not Apple.

By combining technical knowhow with a new concept for how to sell music online, Apple's iPod music player has become the most influential new tech product in years. At the same time, Apple has maintained its reputation for making the most elegant, easy-to-use desktop computers as well.