Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak were a couple of blue jeans-wearing kids from California, 21 and 26 years old.
They weren’t rich, they had no business training, and they were hoping to start in an industry that barely existed at the time.
It was the year 1976, and most people ever thought of buying computers for their home.
They made 1300$ by selling their van and opened Apple Computer, Inc., in their garage. Odds against their success were long. But they had a vision and a clear idea of what they believed they could achieve.
When the company got stalled. When they had no support from retailers, manufacturing people, bankers, they never backed down.
But, after six years of apple founding, they were selling 650000 personal computers a year.
Steve Jobs was a very charismatic leader. He was able to motivate his team to do the best and to create a strong connection with the public.
Here are 10 leadership lessons from Steve Jobs:
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he was looking too many teams working for Mac, and each of them had a different point of view.
After a few weeks reviewing products, he had enough.
“Stop”, he shouted. “This is crazy”. Then he drew a four quadrat product grid.
On the two columns, he wrote “Consumer” and “Pro” and at the two rows wrote “Desktop” and “Portable”.
|Desktop||iMac||Power Macintosh G3|
Deciding what not to do is as important as choosing what to do.
He instructed his team to concentrate on only these 4 products and to cut producing everything else.
Steve Jobs had the focus ingrained in his personality.
He would filter out all he considered distractions. Sometimes even it’s family members or companions.
Focus on the primary products that your firm offers and get rid of the rest.
Steve Jobs’ ability to focus was by his instinct to simplify things by zeroing in on their essence and eliminating unnecessary components.
In the first Apple’s advertising brochure was the sentence, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
In December 1979, Steve Jobs and his team visited Xerox PARC center.
Xerox was showing its technology, but Jobs was fascinated by the three-button computer mouse.
He was impressed by the mouse. He was also surprised at how it’s possible not to take advantage of this tool.
The issue was that it cost $300. He talked with the industrial designer Dean Hovey, who removed the two buttons, and the final cost was $15.
It takes lot’s of work and creativity to turn an expensive, complicated to use instrument into a simple product that everyone can use it.
Jobs aimed for the simplicity that comes from conquering rather than ignoring complexity.
To reach this simplicity, you need to understand all the basic challenges and come up with a better result.
3. Bend your reality
One of the most remarkable abilities that Jobs had, was to encourage people to do the impossible.
A particularly good example is when Jobs was working on the night shift at Atari where he encouraged Steven Wozniak to make a game called Breakout.
Wozniak said it would take months, but Jobs insisted to do it in 4 days. Woz knew it was impossible but still did it.
People who worked with him agree that his trait as irritating as it might be, led them to create outstanding products.
Steve Jobs always had a feeling as ordinary rules of life don’t apply to him.
He was able to inspire his team to change the course of technology with very limited resources compared with what IBM and Xerox had.
4. Push for perfection
For every product that Apple made, Steve would always pause for a moment to examine if the product needed improvement.
It even happened with the animated movie Toy Story.
Jeff Katzenberg (from Disney) who had acquired the rights to the movie said the Pixar team to make it edgier and darker.
Steve Jobs and John Lasseter(the director) stopped the production and edited the story to make it friendlier.
It still happened when he would open the first Apple store. He didn’t like the tiles, so he demanded all to be taken out and replaced.
5. Shun the majority
Steve Jobs would avoid doing market research to determine what consumers prefer.
He said: “Consumers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them”.
It goes with the famous statement from Henry Ford: “If I would have asked customers what they wanted, they would reply, A faster horse“
Jobs had a sense of empathy for his costumers and he used intuition to figure out the desires that have not yet formed.
6. Meet face to face
In the high technology era, is very easy to avoid meeting people and to think that ideas come from the online world.
Jobs had a firm belief that creativity comes from casual meetings, or from random conversations.
When you talk to someone, you are able to explore different ideas, problems and sometimes you can even find solutions.
7. Stay hungry stay foolish
It is a quote that was placed on the back cover of The Whole Earth Catalog in 1974.
Stay hungry means to never stop seeking knowledge. To never stop searching for the next big thing. You need to be adaptable to the change.
Steve Jobs had made millions and had signed his name in the history of technology. But, he had a burning, persistent desire to never stop challenging himself to go further.
Stay foolish means to dare to make big decisions even if they are contradictory to the society or industry.
You have to have a passion for what you are doing.
The reason is that it is so hard that if you don’t, any rational person will give up when faced with difficulties.
If you don’t love it, if you don’t have fun doing it, you will give up.
That’s what happens most of the people.
You have to love it. You have to have passion.
Conclusion: From day one Apple’s founder kept his vision intact, and they communicated it at every turn. He hired people who understood the vision.
He lived breathed and talked to his vision.
Steve Jobs was a dynamic leader, years ahead of the time.
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