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Steve Jobs – Innovator Extraordinaire

Posted November 4th, 2012 by bbsadmin & filed under General Business, Motivation.

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The world lost a great innovator with the passing of Steven Jobs. Here are some things that he taught all of us:

1. Presentation

Apple has become very popular partially because of a phenomenon called the halo effect. This is where peoples judgement is extrapolated from the perception of some situations or events. In the case of Apple, it was the iPod that made a big impact on the company. The iPod was seen as sleek, neat and the technology of the future. These perceptions of the product were extrapolated and helped in the marketing of other projects. The look and design of the product helped the marketing of the other products. The business lesson we can learn is the importance of the look and design of the product or service. It is important that people and products look professional and up to a high standard. People will judge one thing about a business and extrapolate that judgement across the rest of the business.

2. Perfection

Jobs was a perfectionist. He had his ideas of what he wanted and would not be satisfied with the product until it reached his standards. Many times this perfection came at a price, but it led to much of the success Apple was able to have. Their products achieved a look and feel that is clean, whole and cutting edge. The business lesson we learn from this attribute of Job’s is the value of perfection. If you recognize an imperfection, it is very possible a potential customer who is paying hard earned money to receive the product or service will also notice it. It is important to make the effort to reach perfection in every aspect of the business.

3. Diversity of Thought to Promote Creativity

Jobs saw creativity as piecing thoughts and ideas together. Realizing this shows us how important it is to surround ourselves with intelligent people who think differently and have a different perspective than we do. This is a very simple concept to understand when we think of brainstorming in order to solve a problem. Problems are not usually solved because everyone thinks alike, but rather because enough different perspective is given to help us see possibilities that we could not think of on our own.

4. Power of Simplicity of Design

This quality Jobs possessed is evident in the products he oversaw during his leadership. The products were designed to simplify lives though their design and their use. One of the last products released under the leadership of Jobs shows this in particular- the iPhone. It allows people to have everything (music, calendar, phone, and about any app you can imagine) at their fingertips. All this can be done by touching the screen and swiping your fingers. As we look at his example, we can apply this to our own business design. How are you making your customer’s life more simplified? Are your products or services easily accessible and easily used?

5. Company Culture that Takes Pride in Quality

Looking at Jobs’ leadership, it is clear that he knew what he wanted. When things were not done to the quality he expected, he was very clear about it. It is not the bluntness that we should focus, but the desire to reach his clear expectations. This is one of the attributes that helped the company become so successful. This does not mean that you will have your greatest success in your company by hurting people’s feelings. But it does mean to learn to foster a culture of high expectations. Ripping workers apart for not meeting expectations does not breed enthusiasm and trust. Developing a company culture that takes pride in high quality can give employees an enthusiasm and dedication to their work.

6. Evolve

Jobs was not afraid to improve something that was working if it could give people a new perspective. When the iPod, iPhone, or Mac were doing well what did Jobs do. Make a version which was better than the previous one. We all know someone, if it not ourselves, who bought an Apple product on year only to replace it with the next generation of that product came out. If the product worked great, he would make it more compact or give it a better camera or make it lighter. He knew what people wanted before they knew what they wanted and tweaked the next generation of his products to give just that small change that would make it closer to perfection. As a business person, how can you tweak your products or services in a small and simple way to give customers something a little better than they would have expected.

Notable Quotes

“Stay hungry, stay foolish”

“Design is not just what is looks like, design is how it works”

“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”

“I’m convinces that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”