Steven Paul Jobs – it’s a name that has set lofty benchmarks and an ever-lasting legacy. Rebel, visionary, pioneer, game-changer, marketing genius, maverick – over the course of his life, Steve Jobs didn’t just deliver great results, but also transformed multiple industries, expanded the realms of technology and established Apple as a haven for innovation.
Jobs’ ideologies, stories, radical thinking, and unique quirks have become the stuff of industry folklore. From business strategies to big-budget movies, his legacy continues to influence today’s world. But what are the quintessential habits of Steve Jobs that can surely influence entrepreneurs?
Steve Jobs’ life has a lot to teach or guide us. Here are a few lessons that every entrepreneur, leader, businessman or creator can pick up from one of history’s finest visionaries.
The art of simplifying
Steve Job’s love for simplicity in design was inspired by the work of American architect Joseph Eichler. Known for his distinctive residential projects built during the post World War II era, Eichler’s developments in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas made American houses a seamless, user-friendly and yet beautiful product.
“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 nurtured by Steve Jobs was the building brick upon which Apple created its legacy of iconic designs.
As an entrepreneur, you can look up to Steve Jobs’ zen-like focus for seeking simplicity amidst complex situations. Be it planning advertising campaigns, marketing communications, brand building or launch of a new product – the easier and seamless it is to use and understand, the more it will be liked by its target audience.
Think products, not profits
“Don’t worry about the price, just specify the computer’s abilities.” These were the words of Steve Jobs when he set out with a small team to build the first Macintosh computer in the early 80’s. It may have led to friction, extensive debates and constant questions within the company. But when the Macintosh arrived in 1984, it wasn’t just a machine, but a milestone in the history of technology.
This resolute belief of Jobs will help surely help creators and businesses see the larger picture i.e to create something great. Focus on the product and the profits will follow.
Nurture great talent
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”steve jobs
Jobs was always unapologetically picky in bringing in talent at Apple. But when it came to calling the ones he wanted, he only went for the A-game players. The people in whose talent and skills he believed in, always found his support.
For businesses, hiring A-level talent and investing actively in them is a sure-shot way to create something unique and bold. Entrepreneurs can also instill belief in their crop of talent and transform them towards being the best. To sum it up in Jobs’ own words –
By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.
Don’t try to fit in
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…”
Be it with his personality, ideologies, vision or the products that stemmed from Apple, Steve Jobs never believed in fitting in. He wanted Apple to stand out from the clutter of industry norms and orthodox procedures. While other players in the market were focussed only towards launching new products in quick succession to boost profits, for Jobs era Apple quality always trumped over quantity.
Be it the Macintosh in 1984 or the iPhone in 2007, throughout his career Jobs strived to make Apple a brand known for unique creations that blend functionality with aesthetics. The fusion of these two sections along with the boldness to act upon its decisions is a trait that businesses can definitely learn from Steve Jobs.
Have a zen-like focus towards perfection
Stories of Steve Jobs’ all-consuming dedication and focus towards his products at Apple have now made their way into movies and books. His vision towards ushering the personal computer revolution, revolutioniszing the music industry and making smartphones more seamless led to radical products being developed i.e the Macintosh and iMac series, iPod and iPhone. But Jobs’ definition of focus was quite different from the way we usually understand it.
At the 1997 Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Steve Jobs said, “Focus is about saying No!” He went on to explain that focus wasn’t about willpower. It was the courage to say no to a hundred average ideas, so you can dedicate yourselves towards one big goal. It may ruffle a few feathers in the organisation but in the end, it will lead to a great thought-through and perfect product.
Represent your brand
As an entrepreneur, the leader of a young startup or even as the creator of a new product – one needs to imbibe a sense of pride towards one’s creation. Be it a brand, a product, an idea or a team – one has to stand up for them and represent them for its true values.
For Apple, Steve Jobs was more than just a Founder and CEO by designation. From its early beginnings in the late 70s, its meteoric rise in the 80s, or even when he came back to the firm after his decade-long exile, Jobs was a vocal advocate of the brand and its beliefs. Through his dramatic oratory presentations, active campaigning for its products and his visible passion and belief for the brand, Steve Jobs established himself as the face of Apple.
Starting as a scrawny 21-year-old, rebellious college dropout who along with his friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple computers, to being hailed as a modern tech wizard, marketing guru, and a cultural icon – the Steve Jobs journey has come a long way. And along this road, the life and legacy of Jobs continue to treasure key lessons that every entrepreneur can learn from.
So, the next time you are at your workspace and are left pondering over a product, pitch or a meeting – just think, how would Steve Jobs do it? A new idea might be born right there.