There are very few people in the world today more closely associated with innovation than Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. He is the classic American entrepreneur—starting his company in the spare bedroom of his parents’ house, and pioneering the first personal computer for everyday use.
The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs (McGraw-Hill, October, 2010) reveals the 7 principles that are largely responsible for his breakthrough success; principles that have guided Steve Jobs for his entire career and, more important, principles you can adopt today to “think differently” about your company, product or service.
Steve Jobs has something to teach you about your career, your business, and your brand. He thinks differently about every aspect of business – from product design to marketing to communications. Here are the 7 principles responsible for Jobs’ breakthrough success.
12/07/10 Principle One: Do what you love. Passion is everything. Innovation—which simply means—new ways of doing things that improve our lives---cannot flourish unless you are truly obsessed with making something better—be it a product, a service, a method or a career.
“ Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition . They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” - Steve Jobs
How to do find your passion? Passions are those ideas that don’t leave you alone. They are the hopes, dreams and possibilities that consume your thoughts. Follow those passions despite skeptics and naysayers who do not have the courage to follow their dreams.
12/07/10 Principle Two: Put a dent in the universe. This speaks to vision. Innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. You need to know where you’re going, what the ultimate destination is, and you need to inspire others, evangelists.
12/07/10 “ We’re gambling on our vision , and we’d rather do that than make ‘me-too’ products.” - Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs has never underestimated the power of vision to move a brand forward. In 1976, Steve Wozniak was captivated by Jobs’ vision to “put a computer in the hands of everyday people.”
Principle Three: Kick start your brain. Creativity leads to innovative ideas. Jobs believes that a broad set of experiences expands our understanding of the human experience. A broader understanding leads to breakthroughs that others may have missed. Breakthrough innovation requires creativity and creativity requires that you think differently about…the way you think.
12/07/10 “ Creativity is just connecting things.” -- Steve Jobs
The idea fell from a tree, literally. Steve Jobs had returned from visiting a commune-like place in Oregon located in an apple orchard. Apple co-founder and Jobs’ pal, Steve Wozniak, picked him up from the airport. On the drive home, Jobs simply said, “I came up with a name for our company—Apple.” Wozniak said they could have tried to come up with more technical sounding names but their vision was to make computers approachable. Apple fit perfectly.
12/07/10 Principle Four: Sell dreams, not products. Your customers don’t care about your product, your company or your brand. They care about themselves, their hopes, their dreams, their ambitions. Help them fulfill their dreams and you will them over.
You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you can’t get people excited about it, it doesn’t matter. Steve Jobs is considered one of the greatest corporate storytellers in the world because his presentations inform, educate and entertain.
If information is presented verbally, your audience will remember 10% of the information. Attach a picture and retention goes up to 65%. Simplicity: The Elimination of Clutter BIRD 10% 65%
“ Don’t the let noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
“ Dream bigger.” Perhaps the ultimate lesson that Jobs teaches us is that innovation requires risk-taking and risk taking takes courage and a bit of craziness. See genius in your craziness. Believe in yourself and your vision and be prepared to constantly defend those beliefs.