Steve Jobs, the visionary in theblack turtleneck who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the worlds leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as theiPhone, and the iPad tablet - all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.
"Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he couldchange the world, and talented enough to do it." – Barack Obama
"The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve hashad, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For thoseof us lucky enough to get to work with him, its been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely." – Bill Gates
“Steve proves that nerds dont win. Artists do. And that Steve who isboth a technologist, but really an artist, shows that art matters and the rest of us missed the fact that beautiful simple products are what people want.” Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google Inc.
"Steve, thank you for being a mentorand a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you." - Mark Zuckerberg,Facebook founder and CEO
Digital LeadershipIt is a sad day for the world when a visionary like Steve Jobs is no longer walking among us.It truly reminds all of us how short and precious life is. Just like there will never be anotherSocrates, Wayne Gretzky, Winston Churchill, or Gandhi, there will never be another SteveJobs. While we can never become Steve Jobs, nor should we strive to be. What we can do is understand what is the greatness of Steve Jobs and, where applicable, apply these principals to help us develop as leaders.
What are the lessons we can learn from Steve Jobs?
Lesson # 1 : SimplifySteve Jobs demanded that the iPod not have any buttons on it; including an on/off switch.This seemed implausible for the engineers working on the project, but Jobs wouldn’t bend.The engineers were pushed to their limits and as a result the scroll wheel was inspired.
Jobs indicates “that’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity.Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Lesson # 2 : The power of “NO”Jobs is just as proud of the many products he killed over the years as the ones thatwere monumental successes. At one point he worked hard on a device similar tothe Palm Pilot, but appropriately killed it to focus on the cell phone market. Whatresulted was the iPod and iPhone.
Lesson # 3 : Money is overvaluedInnovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came upwith the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’sabout the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t’ matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful..that’s what matters to me.”
Lesson # 4 : It’s not what you say; it’s how you say itJobs keynotes and product launches spellbound audiences. The missing “it” factor is palpable whenhe’s not on stage. Not all products under Jobs were the most cutting edge on the market, howeverconsumers perceived them to be. Part of this was Jobs overzealous demand of secrecy aroundproducts. This secrecy helped feed consumers desires for the product once they were revealed.
That is the critical point – perception becomes reality. Part of Jobs’ success was based on the notion that “Your customers dream of ahappier and better life. Don’t move products. Instead, enrich lives.”
Lesson # 5 : Recognize Good IdeasJobs and Apple did not create the computer mouse, podcasting or the touchscreen, but they recognized their value and integrated these innovations intotheir products.
Lesson # 6 : Shun the MajorityJobs actions epitomized the mantra of if the majority was always right than we’d all berich. Jobs typically eschewed focus groups and gave the public what he thought theyneeded. This worked the majority of the time, when it didn’t it was a chance for him tofail forward into the next project taking the lessons with him. “If I asked the public what they wanted they would say a faster horse.” - Henry Ford
“Here’s to the crazy one, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers,the round pegs in the square holes… because the ones who are crazyenough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Lesson # 7 : Eat Your Own LunchThere is a saying in Silicon Valley that you need to eat your own lunch before someelse does. Jobs had the conviction to do this with the introduction of the iPhone,knowing full well it would and did cannibalize the sales of the flagship iPod. Letting go of the familiar and embracing the unknown is a real test of leadership.
Lesson # 8 : Strive for perfectionThe night before the opening of the first Apple store, jobs didn’t like the look of the tilesso he had them all ripped up and replaced. Right before the iPod launch Jobs alsohad all the headphone jacks replaced so that they were more “clicky.”
Lesson # 9 : Small TeamsJobs didn’t want his iPhone team to be muddle with pre-conceived notions around the cellphone market and had the team placed in a separate building. While this rubbed someemployees the wrong way for not being selected, the results are irrefutable. The original Macintosh team had 100 members. Whenever it reached 101 members they would have to reshuffle and remove someone from the team. Jobs’ belief was that he could only remember 100 names.
Lesson # 10 : Follow your heart “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a arrow, I know I need to change something.” It’s sad to think that today was Jobs’ last day, at the young age of 56. But he truly led a life of following his heart. Thank You Very Much Sompong Yusoontorn