Steve Jobs was an achiever and perhaps best known as an innovator who excelled in industry defying norms. His legacy is replete with business learnings.
Here are the TOP 10
1. It isn’t your left or right lobe: it’s a bit of both. The thought that technology-based business only runs from left-brain (analytical and critical) thinking is misplaced. Jobs with his love for art and music, often called upon his right brain connect to humanities that added the beauty to Apple products and fostered an emotional connect with customers.
2. Keep it simple. Jobs said, “It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.” This philosophy is what directly led to Apple’s iconic designs. The easier something is to use, the more people will want to use it.
3. Products and not profits. Jobs focused on ergonomic, engaging products. He knew if this was widely accepted, all other objectives would fall into place.
4. Impossible is not a possibility. Imagination, inspiration, and the drive to overcome a challenge or barrier work characterized Steve Jobs. Under his watch, software was produced in less than four days; products were designed and marketed in timelines unheard of before, with materials not previously produced. All these were industry defying norms.
5. Top notch talent cannot be substituted. By hiring the best in the business, Jobs was actually able to save resources and beat the competition. “By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things”, Jobs once famously said. He had added, “I’ve found that surrounding myself with smart (and even smarter) people just pushes everyone and everything closer to greatness.”
6. Perfection is the buzzword. Never be satisfied. Jobs created a work environment where excellence was given. Like his aversion for mediocre people, Jobs knew that success in business only comes from continually striving for that perfect state in what you do and expect others to deliver. There’s a level of intensity that Jobs had that drove him continually to reach a certain standard and then raise it. There’s a story that the Apple team worked tirelessly on the iPhone for nearly a year and were almost to the final product when Jobs came into work and told them that he did not like it and wanted them to start over.
7. Mistakes will happen. Just don’t repeat them. Jobs was willing to acknowledge when he made a mistake. His errors in judgment were pretty large, but he noted they were necessary for learning. As he said, “I’m the only person I know that’s a lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year. Acknowledging mistakes has taught me a lot, helped me grow, and deepened my respect among my staff.”
8. It’s the misfits, the rebels and troublemakers that make a difference. Jobs said, “The ones who see things differently are the ones that change things.” Jobs was clear that emulating everyone else was a mistake. Therefore, in product and personality, he never fit in: turtlenecks and jeans; rebellious and edgy; disruptive in the marketplace.
9. Don’t hesitate. Go with your Gut. Just do it. Second-guessing himself was not in Job’s mindset. He was clear that at times it didn’t pay to wait any longer. Jobs took the necessary risks, and his product portfolio speaks to why it pays to jump from the plane (with parachute firmly attached). Having great trust in his instincts, Jobs once asked,”Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?
10. Build enduring relationships. Despite being a techie, Jobs was a firm advocate of face-to-face meetings. He was always keen in hearing directly from people and he understood that many of the intangibles about being together in person could not be emulated by technology platforms. Having informal talks during a walk or sitting down over lunch was his style.
Jobs was a visionary, a complicated but brilliant man, and a business leader who revolutionized how we work, play, and interact. He has left so much for the rest of us to use to develop, grow and thrive.