What can you learn from the life of a man who was already a legend when he alive, and an even bigger one now that he is no longer with us. Steve Jobs, perhaps one of the greatest men that ever walked on the surface of our planet. What an extraordinary career Jobs has had. There is no aspect of modern technology that hasn’t been heavily impacted by Jobs’ role as an entrepreneur and an innovator. Let’s talk about the lessons you can learn from Steve Jobs’ phenomenal life and career.
Lesson #1. It’s All About the Design…
Design is the most important thing if you are in the business of creating products. Your design is your product. Before Steve Jobs, industry was dominated by behemoths such as IBM who cared two hoots about design or branding. Jobs changed everything. So much so that Apple is the byword for design in our world. Apple is also the most recognizable brand name in the world, which directly follows from its focus on design.
Lesson #2. Does It Work? Yes or No?
The problem with most business executives is that they think too much, over complicate things when they shouldn’t. Steve Jobs had a simple question to ask his engineers. Does it work, yes, or no? Steve Jobs believed in simplicity. That doesn’t mean Apple products did not have any complex technology in them. They did, but the complexity was hidden, inside a most elegant and easy interface. Consumers don’t want to be challenged by technology. They want it simple. This is why Apple is today the world’s biggest company.
Lesson #3. Value and Price Are Two Different Things
Just because a product is made up of costlier components, is it more valuable? Value of a product has nothing to do with what you spend on the manufacturing or the design. The value of a product cannot be quantified. Value is defined by a special something that a consumer sees in a product, which compels him or her to pay a higher price for it. What’s this special something? Very few people really understand what it is, and Steve Jobs is one who did. He knew the mind of the consumer more than anybody else.
Lesson #4. Always Hire A Players
When you first start a company, you’ll probably hire the best workers or engineers out there. But as your business gets bigger in size, there is a huge temptation to choose quantity over quality. Steve Jobs avoided this temptation. Apple always had the most stringent standards when it came to hiring employees, only the very best were chosen. This is a strategy you should apply whether hiring employees or when you seek business partner.
Lesson #5. You Are the CEO. Now, Go Demo Your Product!
As a CEO, you have to be aggressive. Go ahead, demo your product. Don’t let a junior executive do the presentation. Do it yourself. Do you believe in your product, in your business? Then show it by taking over the presentation. That’s what Steve Jobs did.
Lesson #6. Don’t Trust the Experts. Believe in Yourself!
Experts, management gurus, journalists, analysts – they think they know everything, they tell you how to run your business and how not to. Steve Jobs didn’t care about experts. He did what he felt to be right. He was criticized heavily by them early on in his career, but as it soon became apparent that he was in a league of his own, experts stopped saying anything to Jobs. They listened instead.
As Guy Kawasaki, the famous business writer who knew Jobs intimately says: “Steve Jobs did not listen to experts. Quite the contrary; experts listened to him. As an entrepreneur, you’re gonna have to figure things out for yourself. Don’t rely on others.”